World of Warcraft Announces Shadowlands Covenants



What Are Covenants in the Shadowlands Expansion?


In the Shadowlands expansion for World of Warcraft, there is a whole new world called the Afterlife. In
previous expansions, new zones were usually new continents or “underworld” levels that players could
discover. In Shadowlands, all the new zones take place in the Afterlife, a land that connects the realms
of the living and the dead. The zones in the afterlife are controlled by powerful factions known as
Covenants. The four Covenants in World of Warcraft Shadowlands are the Kyrian, Necrolords, Night Fae,
and Venthyr. They each control one zone in the Afterlife.


In Azeroth lore, and more specifically in the Shadowlands, when souls leave the world of the living, they
are judged by and entity known as the Arbiter. This Arbiter assigns the souls to the care of a Covenant.
These souls are trapped for an eternity doing the bidding of their assigned Covenant. The Arbiter does
not send every soul to a Covenant. Some souls, due to their past deeds and actions, are found to be so
evil and vile that they are imprisoned in The Maw. Souls that find themselves in the Maw are thought to
have zero chance of redemption and thus must be imprisoned for eternity.


In the Shadowlands expansion, you will traverse between the worlds of the living and the dead in the
Afterlife. Unlike the souls which have been judged by the Arbiter, you will be given the choice of joining
one of the four Covenants out of free will.


The Covenant that you choose to join will have a huge impact on your gameplay in World of Warcraft
Shadowlands. Each covenant will have a unique campaign to play through, filled with Covenant-specific
quests, story lines and denizens. In Battle for Azeroth, there were only two campaigns to play whether
you chose the Alliance or the Horde. In Shadowlands, the campaign that you play will depend upon
which of the four Covenants you choose. Be very careful when you make the decision to join a
Covenant. While joining a Covenant may be easy, leaving one will be extremely difficult. Furthermore,
rejoining a Covenant that you originally left will prove to be an even harder task.

Discovering the Covenants


When you enter the Shadowlands for the first time, your character will be converted from level 120 to
level 50 as part of the “level crunch” put in place by Blizzard. Your character will begin the expansion by
having to escape The Maw. Next, you will quest through each of the four major zones of the expansion.
Each zone is controlled by a specific Covenant. These zones and their respective Covenant are:

Bastion (Kyrian)


Maldraxxus (Necrolords)


Ardenweald (Night Fae)


Revendreth (Venthyr)


When your WoW account enters Shadowlands for the first time, you will need to play through the entire
campaign and storyline. After escaping the Maw, every character will begin in the Bastion and then will
progress through Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and finally Revendreth in that exact order. While you will be

doing quests and tasks for the Covenants inhabiting these zones, only when you have completed this
story line and reached the maximum level of 60 will you be given the choice of joining one of them.
Once you are level 60, the only way to begin end-game progression is by joining a Covenant.

How do Covenants Affect Alt Characters?


Once you have finished leveling your first character from 50-60, any future characters that begin the
Shadowlands expansion can choose a Covenant right away from level 50. This means that you will not
be required to play through the entire storyline on every character. While you still may choose to play
through the story lines and campaign, it is not required. Since you can just jump right into a Covenant
from the beginning, you will be able to start working on world quests and end-game progression if you
choose so. Likewise, if you choose to go back and play the Covenant storylines, you can progress
through the zones in any order that you wish. This feature should make leveling alts much less
repetitive by giving players many options on how to level up.


As you progress through the end-game grind, you will have many chances to serve your Covenant. For
example, some tasks will require players to bring back souls from the Maw and Torghast. Other tasks
will require players to return Anima to their respective Covenants. Throughout the end-game grind,
your character will also have access to a Covenant Sanctum. This zone will act as a central hub by
offering players the ability to upgrade, level, and progress through the expansion.

What are Soulbinds?


As you progress with the Covenant that you choose, you will have the opportunity to form an alliance
with a power member of the respected Covenant. You will be able to channel their powers in battle to
perform extremely powerful attacks and special abilities. These members or creatures that you ally with
are known as your Soulbind. At first, when joining a Covenant, you will only have access to two of the
weaker Soulbinds. As you progress with the Covenant, more powerful Soulbinds will be unlocked
through quests, tasks, and progression.


In previous expansions such as Warlords of Draenor and Legion, followers directly aided players in
combat. Soulbinds are different than these followers of past expansion. Rather than behaving like a pet
or bodyguard, Soulbinds share traits of the artifact system in Legion that allowed players to unlock
special abilities. The difference between Soulbinds and artifact weapons is that players will not have to
equip or carry it around like in previous expansions.


At this point, Blizzard has released very little information about Soulbinds and while the expansion is still
in development, much of this information is subject to change. What is currently known is that
Soulbinds will allow you to share power with a selected Covenant denizen in order to amplify your own
abilities. Along with Soulbinds, there is also a new type of item called a conduit. With a conduit, players
will be able to alter some of their Soulbind abilities to their liking. Think of it as a way of customizing
your build in the same way that you customized a skill tree or artifact weapon.


Soulbinds, like talents, can be switched just like players may switch their specs. With all the choices
available with Soulbinds and conduits, it is very important to experiment with different combinations
and find the ones that best fit your spec.

Which Covenant is Best for You?


At this moment, Blizzard has not released enough information about the four Covenants to decide which
is best for your character. The best that we can do, is make an educated guess based on the roleplay
aspect of each Covenant. As Blizzard releases more information in the future, it will be much easier to
decide which Covenants are best for healing, PVP, or raiding.


Based on the storyline and lore information released, you may have a good idea of what Covenant may
be best for you. As Shadowlands features Covenants vs. Covenants rather than Horde vs. Alliance, it
may be best to note that the “good” Covenants aren’t Alliance specific and vice versa. Contrary to
popular belief, the Alliance isn’t good and the Horde aren’t evil.


For example, the Kyrian are considered the pure and righteous ones, but their faith sometimes goes too
far and causes more harm than good. Likewise, and the punishment of the Venthyr, while in some
circumstances may be a bit extreme, may cause some level of good to occur. For example, even though
Undead may be revered as evil, if they defend their kind with honor, they may be a perfect candidate for
the Kyrian. Likewise, a human paladin who committed crimes in the name of his faith, might find
himself in Revendreth or the Maw to pay for his transgressions even though he was following his faith.
There are many combinations for different types of role players, and as we creep closer to Shadowlands
release, we will know much more about the story and lore.

How to Change your Covenant


Blizzard has confirmed that it will be possible to change Covenants. Whether you dislike the Covenant
you have chosen based on role play, or find a better ability from another Covenant, it will be possible to
make this change. However, leaving a Covenant will not be an easy process. Furthermore, rejoining a
Covenant that you left in the first place will be even more difficult.


In Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard mentioned that the increasing costs to respec Azerite Armor did not
dissuade the more hardcore player base from constantly switching. The process of joining and leaving
Covenants is meant to take this a step further and make it even more difficult for players to switch. In
previous expansions, the cost to respect was usually paid in gold. This may have led players to buy WoW gold
if they did not have the time to farm it themselves. From what we know about Shadowlands,
changing Covenants will be more time consuming rather than costing gold.


With Shadowlands still early in the production process, much of this information is still subject to
change. One thing that we can be certain of is Blizzard will not disappoint their player base. While
Blizzard has not disclosed the official release date, we can expect the expansion to drop in late 2020. As
with every expansion, we look forward to helping players buy WoW accounts or if they choose to do so,
sell WoW accounts.