Restoration Shaman Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jul 15, 2021 at 12:00 by Seksixeny 34 comments
General Information

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 Shaman. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.

1.

Introduction: Prerequisites

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;
  • Shaman Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Shamans 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;
  • Shaman Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Shamans.
2.

Best Covenant / Soulbind for Restoration Shamans

Focus Covenant Soulbind Recommended Tree
Raiding Necrolord Emeni Emeni Tree
Mythic+ Venthyr General Draven Draven Tree
PvP Necrolord Plague Deviser Marileth Marileth Tree
Kyrian Forgelite Prime Mikanikos Mikanikos Tree

All Covenants are strong in PvE content, but if you wish to ever tackle PvP, we would recommend picking Necrolord; Ultimate Form Icon Ultimate Form is one of the best PvP abilities you can get. The rest of the Necrolord kit is also very strong and versatile, and if you ever go Elemental you will still be able to use it to great effect. All perks combined lead Necrolord to be the most popular Covenant for Restoration Shamans.

When looking at the relative difficulty of optimizing your Covenant ability usage, Venthyr is by far the easiest in all content types and is also great for Enhancement and Mythic+ in particular. This makes it the second-most popular choice.

Kyrian and Night Fae are both much stronger in Patch 9.1 and can be used instead of the above if you like them cosmetically, but will not generally provide a throughput gain due to being harder to use optimally due to their positional / ability timing requirements. Overall, feel free to pick any Covenant you like, as the differences are small once you get used to their abilities.

For more information about Restoration Shaman Covenants, please read our Covenants and Soulbinds analysis section at the end of this page.

3.

Best Conduits for Restoration Shamans

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 Shaman Conduits list if you want to see all Shaman Conduits.

4.

Restoration Shaman Conduits

Regardless of which Covenant you pick, you will be able to gather and use the same Conduits, with the notable exception of the Potency Conduit that enhances your Covenant class ability.

While you are often given a choice between Conduit types while filling out a Soulbind, Potency Conduits are the best for performance, with Swirling Currents Icon Swirling Currents and your Covenant ability Conduit being the two best choices on all types of content.

We will be listing the Conduits you can obtain below, ordered by perceived power and accompanied by an explanation on their place in the list.

4.1.

Restoration Shaman Potency Conduits

Two of these can (and generally should) be chosen once you unlock their slots at your chosen Soulbind. By order of preference:

  1. Swirling Currents Icon Swirling Currents is our best Conduit, proving a frequent healing increase to some of our most used spells. It also has great synergy with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave!
  2. Our Covenant Conduits: Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves, Elysian Dirge Icon Elysian Dirge, Lavish Harvest Icon Lavish Harvest and Essential Extraction Icon Essential Extraction are collectively our second best Conduits, granting strong boosts to their respective abilities.
  3. Heavy Rainfall Icon Heavy Rainfall is great for burst healing, and is especially useful for countering the Prideful Icon Prideful Mythic+ affix, but is generally a more niche choice compared to using a Covenant-specific Conduit.
  4. Embrace of Earth Icon Embrace of Earth is great for single-target healing, making it a priority Conduit for PvP and the Sun King's Salvation encounter, but it is outclassed in most other types of content.
  5. Nature's Reach Icon Nature's Reach is a relatively weak Conduit as the healing boost is small, is likely to be lost to overhealing, and does not apply to the bounces.
4.2.

Restoration Shaman Endurance Conduits

Due to the nature of these Conduits, ranking is less of a numbers game and more down to preference, so feel free to swap them around.

  1. Vital Accretion Icon Vital Accretion provides an extra personal cooldown for yourself, which is always useful.
  2. Condensed Anima Sphere Icon Condensed Anima Sphere is a new Conduit in Patch 9.1 that drops from the new world boss and heals you for a portion of your maximum health whenever you take damage, once every 10 seconds. This passive healing is significant and very frequent, making it a strong Conduit. It is not yet available in the Soulbind calculator, but will be the second Endurance choice on all Soulbinds.
  3. Refreshing Waters Icon Refreshing Waters is the only healing increase Conduit in this category, but for that to happen you need to be damaged and decide to Healing Surge yourself, which is not how you usually spend your Mana.
  4. Astral Protection Icon Astral Protection is potentially great, but only when you are intentionally planning to die, making it a niche Conduit.
4.3.

Restoration Shaman Finesse Conduits

  1. Thunderous Paws Icon Thunderous Paws provides extra movement speed in the first seconds after using Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf. This is great when moving around in any type of content.
  2. Totemic Surge Icon Totemic Surge reduces the cooldown of your utility Totems, which is very useful in PvP and Mythic+ where you get to use them very often.
  3. Spiritual Resonance Icon Spiritual Resonance grants some seconds of Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace while affected by Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust. The utility of the buff depends on where and when Bloodlust is used, and so does the power of this Conduit.
  4. Crippling Hex Icon Crippling Hex requires your targets to be able to be hexed, and is only useful if they deal significant damage immediately after the Hex Icon Hex wears off. This relegates this skill to mostly Mythic+ / PvP situations, where it is a decent option.
5.

In-depth Covenant Analysis

While all Covenants are usable for Restoration Shamans, we would like to recommend using the Necrolord if you want to focus on healing.

The main reason why Necrolord is so strong for us is because Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave allows for easy healing of spread out targets, which has always been our main weakness. Unfortunately, it deals no damage, unlike all the other Covenants.

If damage is very important to you, any of the other three Covenants are a good option and all of them have different ways to deal damage:

  • Venthyr hits hard with Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest, which is a long cooldown, big burst of damage and healing. Due to its "one-press" nature, it is the easiest Covenant ability to use effectively. Its burst-style effect is often advantageous as well.
  • Night Fae deals the highest single-target damage out of all Covenants with Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion, as long as you can channel it fully and the targets do not move out of its effect. You can then use it again to release some of this damage as healing to allies 20 yards around you, the same radius as Ascendance Icon Ascendance.
  • Kyrian has Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem, which allows for flexible, frequent bursts of damage and healing. You will likely have to relocate the Totem frequently in order to get the maximum benefit out of both effects, making it challenging to optimize.

All healing done by the Covenant abilities and their secondary effects feeds into Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem, even the healing from Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem.

As you might imagine, it can be hard to land fully-effective Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totems or Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusions in PvP, which limits their usefulness. However, the payoff can also be great with the right setup. With Venthyr you will almost always get maximum benefit, and because it is of the Shadow school, you can cast it with little fear of being locked out of your other spells in PvP.

Ultimately, the best Covenant for Resto Shaman mostly comes down to your personal gameplay (and aesthetic) preferences. Continue reading to discover more on how to use their abilities and Soulbinds!

6.

Necrolord Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave is a cheap instant heal that applies Riptide Icon Riptide and makes your next Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave hit all targets with your Riptide active. This effect has no range limit, and thus provides an excellent way to heal targets that are spread out from the rest of the group.

You can perform strong single-target emergency healing with this ability, especially if you cast the empowered Healing Wave on a target with Riptide active: this will allow both your cast and the copied cast to hit the same target, resulting in a big healing burst.

This ability also works well with most of our kit. It will get boosted by Torrent Icon Torrent, Undulation Icon Undulation or Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life, benefit from Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements or Deluge Icon Deluge and feed Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem!

You can track its cooldown, buff and Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves resets with this WeakAura made by Niseko.

Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft requires you to channel for a little while in order to get its maximum benefit, but it also provides damage reduction during the channel and a sizable, long-lasting shield that scales with your health pool, making it a strong defensive ability. This is especially true in Mythic+, Torghast, and when soloing, due to the high amount of corpses available to reduce its cooldown.

6.1.

Necrolord Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

Emeni is especially strong for raiding, as Lead by Example Icon Lead by Example scales with the amount of allies near you. This power also has great synergy with the Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves conduit. Emeni's Magnificent Skin Icon Emeni's Magnificent Skin is a small power up to Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft and the rest of the tree has occasional uses.

Plague Deviser Marileth is a powerhouse in PvP due to Ooz's Frictionless Coating Icon Ooz's Frictionless Coating and Ultimate Form Icon Ultimate Form, and also situationally great in PvE. His Volatile Solvent Icon Volatile Solvent ability grants 120 Mastery when Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft is cast. Marileth is also great in very hard PvE content, where you need to become as tough as possible.

Finally, Bonesmith Heirmir also has a strong initial power in Forgeborne Reveries Icon Forgeborne Reveries, and another strong power late in the tree with Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone Icon Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone, but unfortunately taking this final power prevents you from having a second potency Conduit, making Heirmir not as strong as it could be, otherwise.

6.1.1.

Restoration Shaman Emeni Soulbind

We suggest following this path + Conduit pick choice and timing:

6.1.2.

Restoration Shaman Marileth Soulbind

This is our recommended path and Conduits for Marileth in PvE:

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind in PvP:

6.1.3.

Restoration Shaman Heirmir Soulbind

We suggest following this path and Conduit pick choice:

7.

Venthyr Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest is the most impactful Covenant ability for Restoration Shamans, when measured over a single cast. It is not uncommon to be about to die while fighting enemies that have a lot of life left, and see yourself (and your group) full life and all enemies dead once you use Chain Harvest, especially if you buff it with Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life beforehand!

This power is balanced by a somewhat lengthy cooldown, which is slightly reduced by critical strikes. The most unintuitive mechanic of Chain Harvest is that, while it looks and feels like a Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal, it actually only bounces within a set radius of where it was cast, rather than evaluating the range between each individual target hit.

You can see here that it does not bounce to the far away elemental, even though it is clearly within bouncing range. This means that you should aim your cast at the center of the player or enemy cluster you want to hit, as you will risk missing some of the bounces otherwise.

Door of Shadows Icon Door of Shadows allows you to teleport to a nearby location. This is a great mobility boost, although it does have an hefty cooldown.

7.1.

Venthyr Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

General Draven has an interesting ability in Service In Stone Icon Service In Stone. While you should always avoid dying, this ability makes your death potentially finish off your enemies, and also provides a large healing burst to allies nearby. Move As One Icon Move As One all but ensures that you have 30% extra movement speed bonus whenever group movement is needed. Hold Your Ground Icon Hold Your Ground boosts your survivability and healing whenever you are able to stand still for 4 seconds and lasts for 6 seconds after you start moving. Finally, Battlefield Presence Icon Battlefield Presence is a strong throughput boost, as long as you can keep enemies nearby.

Theotar the Mad Duke is a healing-focused Soulbind which you can use in most group situations. It has good throughput boosts with Soothing Shade Icon Soothing Shade and Token of Appreciation Icon Token of Appreciation, and the new Party Favors Icon Party Favors grants you 3% Critical Strike, Haste, Versatility, or Intellect for 4 hours, persisting through death.

Nadjia the Mistblade is a great damage-focused Soulbind due to Thrill Seeker Icon Thrill Seeker, which provides a large amount of bonus Haste, and later on also Critical Strike or Versatility with Fatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw. Familiar Predicaments Icon Familiar Predicaments and Nimble Steps Icon Nimble Steps are also very strong in PvP.

7.1.1.

Restoration Shaman Draven Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:

7.1.2.

Restoration Shaman Theotar Soulbind

We suggest following this path + Conduit pick choice and timing:

7.1.3.

Restoration Shaman Nadjia Soulbind

We suggest following this path + Conduit pick choice and timing:

8.

Night Fae Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion has great single-target damage, but also a significant channel time. Because it splits damage among its targets, you will generally want to aim it at a single priority enemy, which needs to be inside its radius during the full channel for you to gain maximum benefit.

Once you complete the channel, some of the damage dealt can then be released as healing to a few allies within 20 yards of yourself which can be a good source of burst healing. But, it can also amount to nothing if you failed to deal significant damage to begin with. This does also mean this power gains extra benefits from damage-increasing effects, such as Sludgefist's stun periods.

While it has great potential, Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion is often situational, which lowers the value of being Night Fae when other Covenants can gain full benefit from their powers all the time.

Soulshape Icon Soulshape is a great movement boost, and it provides a short cooldown blink, which can be used to jump over dangerous encounter mechanics and directly counteracts one of our traditional weaknesses.

8.1.

Night Fae Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

Dreamweaver is a great progression raiding Soulbind due to Podtender Icon Podtender, which allows you to cheat death while learning encounters. It also has multiple good throughput powers in Social Butterfly Icon Social Butterfly, which is competitive with the Potency Conduit you would lose by getting it, Field of Blossoms Icon Field of Blossoms, and Dream Delver Icon Dream Delver, which is stacked by heals over time such as Riptide Icon Riptide.

Niya provides both survivability and throughput with Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration and Bonded Hearts Icon Bonded Hearts. She also has a strong damage power in Niya's Tools: Poison Icon Niya's Tools: Poison, especially in PvP and Mythic+ where you can interrupt enemies often. Beware of accidentally breaking CC with it, though.

Finally, Korayn lives or dies on the value you can get from his First Strike Icon First Strike power. If you can ensure high uptime, then he is quite good, but this can be hit-and-miss. Wild Hunt Tactics Icon Wild Hunt Tactics is great when it procs, but unfortunately healing allies under 35% health is a very rare occasion.

8.1.1.

Restoration Shaman Dreamweaver Soulbind

We suggest following this path, Conduit pick choice, and timing:

8.1.2.

Restoration Shaman Niya Soulbind

We suggest following this path, Conduit pick choice, and timing:

8.1.3.

Restoration Shaman Korayn Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:

9.

Kyrian Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem is a flexible totem that radiates damage to nearby enemies when you use damaging spells and healing to nearby allies when you use healing spells. Its ability to deal both damage and healing are very good, but also require a strong sense of positioning. Fortunately, you have 30 seconds to make use of the 3 healing and 3 damage pulses, during which you can reposition the Totem within a global cooldown.

Ideally, you will want to drop the Totem when both healing and damage will be required in the next 30 seconds, use the adequate spells to proc it after it is positioned, and adjust the positioning if required after exhausting all charges of damage or healing. Its tiny 8-yard radius makes hitting all 6 possible targets a very difficult task, but the healing you do with it will feed Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem which is a plus.

Summon Steward Icon Summon Steward calls a friendly NPC to your side, from which you can get a Phial of Serenity Icon Phial of Serenity. This serves as a second Healthstone Icon Healthstone, with which it does not share a cooldown. 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.

9.1.

Kyrian Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

Kleia can be a life-saver with Valiant Strikes Icon Valiant Strikes, which will target the most injured people in your group when they most need it with no overheal. Pointed Courage Icon Pointed Courage and Light the Path Icon Light the Path are powerful traits, and are more than worth losing out on your third Potency Conduit slot for.

Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is also an excellent Soulbind with powerful traits such as Bron's Call to Action Icon Bron's Call to Action and Effusive Anima Accelerator Icon Effusive Anima Accelerator. Hammer of Genesis Icon Hammer of Genesis is great for chain pulls, but you should use another potency conduit when healing in a group. He also has an interesting niche on situations where you will be taking significant fall damage, as Resilient Plumage Icon Resilient Plumage will both reduce it and give damage reduction afterwards.

Pelagos is a strong throughput Soulbind, mostly due to Combat Meditation Icon Combat Meditation, which consistently provides a large amount of Mastery. Unfortunately, you do need to move a bit in order to extend its duration, so make sure to keep an eye out for the small Anima Orbs around you. Better Together Icon Better Together and Newfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve are also great throughput talents, although they do need some setup.

9.1.1.

Restoration Shaman Kleia Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:

9.1.2.

Restoration Shaman Pelagos Soulbind

We suggest following this path, Conduit pick choice, and timing:

9.1.3.

Restoration Shaman Mikanikos Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:

10.

Changelog

  • 15 Jul. 2021: Updated Marileth with its usage in PvE Mythic Raiding progression and other hard content.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Updated Conduits, Soulbinds, and Covenant recommendations for Patch 9.1.
  • 16 Jun. 2021: Reworked Conduit recommendations slightly.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Updated Covenant descriptions to account for the 9.0.5 buffs.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Added a weak aura for tracking Necrolord Primordial Wave.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands launch.
  • 22 Nov. 2020: Added details on Marileth's Volatile Solvent power and recommendations for low-renown soulbinds.
  • 19 Nov. 2020: Added a tree for Korayn and more details on the potency conduit choice.
  • 18 Nov. 2020: Added multiple changes to recommendations and trees after the latest hotfixes.
  • 15 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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