Retribution Paladin Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1.5
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Retribution Paladin. 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;
- Paladin Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Paladins 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;
- Paladin Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Paladins.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
Many Covenants and Soulbinds combinations are very close in performance, therefore we list multiple good recommendations for in the table below. For more in-depth information about Soulbinds and Covenants as Retribution Paladin, please continue to the Covenant section below.
Best Conduits for Retribution Paladin
This section only covers which Conduits you should pick. For detailed explanations on what all of the Paladin Conduits do, check out our Paladin Conduits Page below.
Conduits for Retribution Paladin
The Potency Conduits are split into tiers, if they are universally strong, they are A-Tier, if they are universally useless, they are D-Tier. B-Tier means they are good for the current comparison list, C-Tier means they are underperforming for the current comparison list. Within the same Tier, they are sorted by performance from top to bottom. Always pick from the A-Tier and then B-Tier Conduits as first and second Potency Conduit in your Soulbind Tree and avoid C-Tier and D-Tier Conduits.
Best Single-Target Potency Conduits for Retribution Paladin
- Ringing Clarity (Kyrian)
- Virtuous Command
- Templar's Vindication
- Expurgation (with Blade of Wrath talented)
Mythic+ / Cleave Potency Conduits for Retribution Paladin
Endurance Conduits for Retribution Paladin
- Condensed Anima Sphere (Raid / Mythic+ / Torghast)
- Divine Call (Raid / Torghast)
- Shielding Words (Mythic+ / Torghast)
- Golden Path (Raid / Mythic+)
Finesse Conduits for Retribution Paladin
Covenants for Retribution Paladin
Before going more in depth about Covenants it is important to understand that any of the 4 Covenants can be played as Retribution Paladin. There will definitely be better and worse options but the choice will not be hindering your daily activities.
While all of the Covenants have their place, some simply perform better on a day to day basis than others.
For both Raiding and Mythic+, Kyrian is the top choice, with Venthyr and Night Fae slightly behind. The Necrolord Covenant is still underperforming. Even if you can switch, as Kyrian there is no particular reason to do so for any content.
- Kyrian — Excellent single-target and cleave burst with a short cooldown. Excellent pick for Raiding and Mythic+. Kyrian performs admirably regardless of combat duration. Best Covenant to pick when considering PvE, PvP, and off-speccing altogether.
- Venthyr — Excellent single-target and cleave burst with a long cooldown and low variance. They also bring some group heal and comes with a teleport. Strong pick for Raiding and for Mythic+ during Tyrannical weeks. Good pick for Mythic+ during Fortified weeks. Heavily dependant on favorable combat durations and timings for Ashen Hallow to perform well.
- Night Fae — Strong utility for group members and comes with a blink. Strong pick for both Raiding and Mythic+ when utilized properly. The Night Fae Covenant will prioritize group performance over personal performance when utilized correctly, so be prepared to give the Night Fae blessings to other players.
- Necrolord — Still undertuned and does not bring anything that the others do not already offer.
Venthyr For Retribution Paladin
The Venthyr Covenant offers extremely high burst.
Ashen Hallow, when used within 30 yards, creates a large bloody circle on your targeted location. This circle will last for 30 seconds and all enemies are periodically damaged, while allies get healed. The damage and healing are reduced per target if more than 5 enemies or allies are within. Staying inside the Ashen Hallow circle allows you to cast Hammer of Wrath with 100% increased damage. The 4-minute cooldown certainly seems awkward, but the throughput is well worth the long cooldown if used at the right timing.
Door of Shadows is a targeted teleport with a 1.5-second channeling duration. The targeted area needs to be within line of sight. It can be used to travel long distances, travel up or downwards, or to skip a trash pack.
You can check out the Rotation page for more detailed information on how to use Ashen Hallow properly.
Nadjia the Mistblade provides a haste buff in form of Thrill Seeker and Exacting Preparation can increase the effectiveness of consumables. With Agent of Chaos, you can use your teleport as AoE disorient, which can also work as AoE interrupt. Sinful Preservation will grant you an additional absorb shield equal to 50% of the amount healed by Health Potions and Healthstones. Fatal Flaw grants you a Critical Strike or Versatility buff after the initial Haste buff from Thrill Seeker runs out.
Theotar the Mad Duke provides Soothing Shade, which can randomly spawn a Parasol. Standing inside its shade will grant you a Mastery buff. Wasteland Propriety provides you and the group with a Versatility buff when Ashen Hallow is used. Refined Palate increases the duration of your combat potion by at least 100%, up to a maximum of 200%. Leisurely Gait provides you with a second charge of the teleport. Party Favors allows you to buy a Tea from the Mad Duke that will increase one of your secondary stats for 4 hours.
General Draven provides you with Service In Stone, basically you explode after dying with a 3-second delay. Superior Tactics provides you with a 10% Critical Strike chance buff for 10 seconds after successfully interrupting an enemy, or dispelling an ally. This buff can only occur ever 30 seconds. Built for War provides you with 1% Strength per stack, every 2 seconds, for up to 5 stacks total. This buff falls to 0 Stacks once you fall below 50% Health. Battlefield Presence grants you additional damage, healing, and damage reduction per nearby enemy up to a cap.
Kyrian For Retribution Paladin
The Kyrian Covenant offers strong and consistent cleave burst.
Summon Steward summons an owlkin steward. You can speak with your steward and he will offer you a range of services, the most important of which are Phial of Serenity. This potion restores 20% of your Health and more importantly removes all diseases, poisons, curses and bleeds on you. Being able to remove any of these is a huge benefit of being a Kyrian, as it means that you can use Divine Shield and Blessing of Protection elsewhere.
You can check out the Rotation page for more detailed information on how to use Divine Toll properly.
Pelagos provides you with Combat Meditation, which gives you a Mastery buff after using Divine Toll. Let Go of the Past provides you with up to 3% magic damage reduction, as long as you do not press the same ability twice in a row. Newfound Resolve sometimes spawns a small Doubt manifestation that, when faced, will grant Strength and Stamina.
Forgelite Prime Mikanikos provides you with Bron's Call to Action, which after using 75 damaging or healing abilities, will summon Bron, who will knock enemies back enemies on his arrival. He then will attack enemies and heal allies for 30 seconds. Hammer of Genesis provides you with with 3% Haste for each new enemy you attack. This buff stacks 5 times, up to 15%, and the buff lasts 10 seconds. Sparkling Driftglobe Core stuns nearby enemies for 3 seconds when your Health drops below 30%. It has a 45-second cooldown. Effusive Anima Accelerator grants reduced cooldown to Divine Toll depending on how many targets you hit with it and does a small amount of split Arcane damage.
Kleia provides you with Valiant Strikes, which heals allies by up to 20%, when they drop below 50% Health. Mentorship increases your nearby party members maximum Health by 5%, as long as you stay above 90% Health. Pointed Courage increases your Critical Strike chance by 2% per nearby enemy or ally, up to a maximum of 6%. Light the Path grants additional Critial Strike.
Night Fae For Retribution Paladin
The Night Fae Covenant offers unique group utility.
Blessing of the Seasons provides you with a new Blessing spell which rotates through 4 individual spells, each lasting 30 seconds. They always rotate in the following order:
- Blessing of Summer — Adds a chance to deal Holy damage.
- Blessing of Autumn — Increases cooldown recovery by 30%.
- Blessing of Winter — Adds a chance to deal Frost damage and reduce the target's attack and movespeed.
- Blessing of Spring — Increases healing done by 15% and healing recieved by 30%.
These Blessings are best used on other players rather than yourself as the benefit to the group will be greater on them rather than yourself. You can use, and therefore rotate to the next Blessing every 45 seconds.
Soulshape allows you to blink short distances multiple times in a row by pressing Soulshape multiple times until the soul form runs out of time. Pressing most abilities will break this soul form early.
Night Fae Soulbinds
Dreamweaver provides you with Podtender, which acts as cheat death ability once every 10 minutes. Field of Blossoms spawns flowers on the ground for 12 seconds when casting Blessing of Summer, Blessing of Autumn, Blessing of Winter, or Blessing of Spring. Those flowers grant 15% Haste while standing on top of them. Dream Delver grants you additional damage and healing on your target the more you attack or heal it, with a cap.
Korayn provides you with Wild Hunt Tactics, which increases your damage against enemies above 75% Health by 15%. First Strike grants 25% Criticial Strike chance for 5 seconds after attacking an enemy before he damaged you. Face Your Foes grants you 3% damage reduction for 2 seconds when attacking your target while facing him. Wild Hunt Strategem grants you additional damage and healing to targets within the Wild Hunt Tactics range of health.
Niya provides you with Grove Invigoration, which grants you a chance to gain a stack of Redirected Anima for 30 seconds. Each stack provides increased maximum Health and Mastery. This effect stacks. Using Blessing of the Seasons immediately grants 8 additional stacks. Niya's Tools: Poison allows your successful interrupts to apply a damage over time effect. Swift Patrol grants 20% increased movement speed for 2 minutes after defeating an enemy. This effect ends once you enter combat. Bonded Hearts grants you additional Mastery when a heal triggered from gaining Grove Invigoration stacks hits a member of a different Covenant.
Necrolord For Retribution Paladin
Necrolord is our lowest performing Covenant. When compared against the other Covenants, it does not show a clear strength.
Vanquisher's Hammer is a decent single-target damaging ability with extra passive cleave. When cast, it generates 1 Holy Power and makes your next Templar's Verdict trigger a free Divine Storm with 25% increased effectiveness. It has a 30-second cooldown, and 30-yard range.
With Fleshcraft, you can channel a absorb shield equal to 40% of your maximum Health every 2 minutes. While channeling, your damage taken is reduced by 20%. This ability comes with some downsides, however. It is a great defensive tool, but you are rooted in place during the 3-second channel.
You can check out the Rotation page for more detailed information on how to use Vanquisher's Hammer properly.
Bonesmith Heirmir is the best Soulbind for Necrolord for both Raiding and Mythic+.
Plague Deviser Marileth provides you with some interesting effects. Volatile Solvent causes your Fleshcraft to grant you 120 Mastery if you consume a corpse. Ooz's Frictionless Coating provides you with a absorb shield for 15% of your maximum Health once you fall below 50% Health. It can trigger once every 30 seconds. Plaguey's Preemptive Strike grants you 12% increased damage for 15 seconds after attacking an enemy for the first time. Ultimate Form makes you immune to crowd control while channeling Fleshcraft and you regenerate 2% Health per second. If you finish the channel, you will gain another 4 second buff of this effect. Kevin's Oozeling spawns a slime that will attack your target and increase your damage on that target while also grant shields to your allies.
Emeni provides you with Lead by Example, which grants you 5% Strength, and your allies gain a 2% primary stat buff after you casted Vanquisher's Hammer. Each affected ally also grants you additional 2% Strength for 10 seconds, up to a maximum of 8%. Gristled Toes grants you a 3% movement speed for each nearby enemy, up to a maximum of 15%. Pustule Eruption will give you 3 pustules per second while channeling Fleshcraft. Taking damage explodes a pustule, dealing Nature damage to nearby enemies. Receiving healing also explodes a pustule, healing nearby allies.
Bonesmith Heirmir provides you with Forgeborne Reveries, which grants 1% Strength per enchant equipped, up to a maximum of 3%. Additionally, if you die, you can continue fighting for 10 seconds with 0 Health. During this time, your damage, and healing done is reduced by 50%, and you cannot receive healing. Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone grants you a 18% Critical Strike buff for 10 seconds after landing 10 Critical Strikes. This effect has a 60-second cooldown. Heirmir's Arsenal: Gorestompers grants you a 35% movement speed buff for 5 seconds (buff starts once you start moving if you stand still) after damaging or healing a target below 35%. This effect has a 60-second cooldown. Mnemonic Equipment grants bonus damage when striking an enemy below 35% hp; a percentage of that damage dealt will be reapplied as a damage-over-time effect.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated Covenant recommendations for Patch 9.0.5.
- 16 Jan. 2021: Updated recommended Covenants and Conduits after SimulationCraft updates.
- 11 Dec. 2020: Expurgation Conduit moved to A-Tier for single-target.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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