Restoration Shaman Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Dec 05, 2020 at 12:14 by Seksixeny 22 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.


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.

Best Covenant / Soulbind for Restoration Shamans

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

Necrolord is a specialized option for raiding, while Kyrian is a good catch-all specialization, and so is Venthyr, which is very close in power to Kyrian. Night Fae is weaker than the rest.

When looking at the relative difficulty of optimizing your Covenant ability usage, Venthyr is easy, Kyrian is average and Necrolord is hard, so make sure to pick a Covenant suited to your WoW experience / gameplay preference, as otherwise it will be hard to have any fun with it!

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


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.


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.


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 Conduit.
  4. Embrace of Earth Icon Embrace of Earth shines on a Mythic+ / PvP setting, and can replace one of the first two, down to your personal preferred gameplay style and RNG tolerance.
  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 overheal, and does not apply to the bounces.

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. 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.
  3. Astral Protection Icon Astral Protection is potentially great, but only when you are intentionally planning to die, making it a niche Conduit.

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. 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.
  3. Totemic Surge Icon Totemic Surge reduces the cooldown of you utility totems. Just like the previous Conduit, this can be amazing or useless, depending on the situation at hand.
  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.

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 is fine (with Night Fae only being worth it on single target), but the way the damage is dealt is very different:

  • Kyrian has Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem, which allows for flexible, frequent small bursts of damage and healing. You will likely have to relocate the totem frequently in order to get maximum benefit out of both effects, making it challenging to optimize.
  • 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 well.
  • Night Fae deals the highest single target damage out of all Covenants with Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion. Unfortunately, this damage is split among targets hit, requires you to channel for 3 seconds and the released healing has very limited range, making it a challenging ability to get consistent value with.

While it can be argued that spread healing is most important in raiding while damage is invaluable in mythic+ and PvP, choosing the best Covenant for Resto Shaman mostly comes down to your personal gameplay (and aesthetic) preferences. We listed the strengths and weaknesses of each Covenant above. Choose one, and continue reading to discover more on how to use its abilities, Soulbinds and Conduits.

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.


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!

Track its cooldown, buff and Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves resets with this weak aura made by Niseko.

Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft is way less interesting than Primordial Wave, and can often be hard to use due to its 4 second channel. It does provide a sizable, long lasting shield that scales with your health pool, making it a decent ability.


Necrolord Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

Emeni is a strong Necrolord Soulbind that you can use on all types of content, as its Lead by Example Icon Lead by Example provides a strong throughput burst when you need it most. The rest of the speed-oriented powers are also useful. Use this Soulbind while at low Renown levels.

Bonesmith Heirmir also has a strong initial power in Forgeborne Reveries Icon Forgeborne Reveries, although the rest of his powers are mostly forgettable.

Finally, Plague Deviser Marileth has a niche whenever you can get powerful buffs with his Volatile Solvent Icon Volatile Solvent ability:

  1. Beast - Primary stat increased by 2%.
  2. Dragon - Critical Strike increased by 2%.
  3. Humanoid - Mastery increased by 2%.
  4. Elemental - Magic damage done increased by 2%.
  5. Mechanical - Magic damage taken reduced by 5%.
  6. Demon - Stamina increased by 5%.
  7. Undead - Killing an enemy heals you for 2% of maximum health.
  8. Aberration - Armor increased by 5%.
  9. Giant - Size increased by 10%. Physical damage done increased by 5%.

The buff lasts for 2 minutes, even once the shield is consumed, which lines up perfectly with Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft's cooldown.


Restoration Shaman Emeni Soulbind

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


Restoration Shaman Heirmir Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:


Restoration Shaman Marileth Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:


Kyrian Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem is a flexible totem that radiates damage to nearby enemies when you use damage 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 possible 6 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 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.


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 is a very powerful trait, and more than worth losing out on your Elysian Dirge Icon Elysian Dirge Conduit for!

Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is a good soloing Soulbind, especially once you reach Hammer of Genesis Icon Hammer of Genesis, which is amazing whenever you can chain pull nearly enemies, and also has a niche on situations where you will be taking fall damage periodically, with Resilient Plumage Icon Resilient Plumage.

Finally, Pelagos is the weakest Kyrian Soulbind once all of them are fully unlocked, as its only throughput increasing trait, Combat Meditation Icon Combat Meditation, increases Mastery, our weakest stat, and also requires movement in order to make the most out of it. Because the other two Kyrian Soulbinds require their final traits in order to really be worth it, you should use Pelagos while at low Renown levels.


Restoration Shaman Kleia Soulbind

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


Restoration Shaman Mikanikos Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:


Restoration Shaman Pelagos Soulbind

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


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 / 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.


Venthyr Restoration Shaman Soulbinds

General Draven is the best Venthyr Soulbind, overall, with an amazing ability in Service In Stone Icon Service In Stone, which has great synergy with our Reincarnation Icon Reincarnation and Ancestral Protection Totem Icon Ancestral Protection Totem abilities, as well as the Astral Protection Icon Astral Protection Conduit. Move As One Icon Move As One all but ensures that you have 30% extra movement speed bonus whenever group movement is needed. If both of these were not enough, the final trait, Hold Your Ground Icon Hold Your Ground boosts your survivability and healing whenever you are able to stand still for 4 seconds, ensuring a very high uptime.

Nadjia the Mistblade is a great all-rounder Soulbind due to the flexibility of its final powers. Dauntless Duelist Icon Dauntless Duelist is great while soloing, Familiar Predicaments Icon Familiar Predicaments is one of the best PvP powers, and Exacting Preparation Icon Exacting Preparation provides a big throughput boost that is useful on all types of content.

Theotar the Mad Duke is a healing-focused Soulbind which you can use in most group situations, but which has no standout points besides its good throughput boosts and early power boost with Soothing Shade Icon Soothing Shade. Use this Soulbind while at low Renown levels.


Restoration Shaman Draven Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:


Restoration Shaman Theotar Soulbind

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


Restoration Shaman Nadjia Soulbind

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


Night Fae Restoration Shaman Deep Dive

Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion has great single target damage, but also a channel time, poor area of effect damage and a short radius on its healing effect.

Needless to say, this is the weakest of the Covenant powers for a Restoration Shaman, and is mostly useful when single target is the main thing you wish for. Its heal does not get any Mastery benefit and cannot be boosted with Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life or our other class tools.

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.


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 two good throughput powers in Social Butterfly Icon Social Butterfly (worth using over Essential Extraction Icon Essential Extraction) and Field of Blossoms Icon Field of Blossoms. Use this Soulbind while at low Renown levels.

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 a good damage-focused choice, otherwise Wild Hunt Tactics Icon Wild Hunt Tactics by itself adds little to our kit.

Niya is another damage-focused alternative, especially in PvP and Mythic+ where you can interrupt enemies often for a lot of extra damage from Niya's Tools: Poison Icon Niya's Tools: Poison, at the risk of its damage over time effect preventing your team from applying certain types of CC for a while.


Restoration Shaman Dreamweaver Soulbind

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


Restoration Shaman Korayn Soulbind

Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind:


Restoration Shaman Niya Soulbind

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



  • 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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