Paladin Covenant Abilities in Shadowlands
Welcome to our guide that covers Paladin Covenant Abilities in Shadowlands. We first present you a summary of all the abilities before going over the individual Signature and Covenant Class Abilities in more detail.
Summary of Abilities Granted to Paladins by Each Covenant
Best Covenants for Paladins
For more information regarding the best Covenants for each Paladin spec, please refer to our spec-specific pages:
Kyrian Paladin Covenant Ability
Divine Toll: Instantly cast Holy Shock (Holy), Avenger's Shield (Protection), or Judgment (Retribution) on up to 5 targets within 30 yards (based on your current specialization). (Instant, Costs 15-30% of Base Mana, 30-yard range, 1-minute cooldown)
Night Fae Paladin Covenant Ability
Blessing of the Seasons provides an ally with four different buffs that cycle through and are active 30 seconds each.
- Blessing of Spring: Bless an ally for 30 seconds, increasing their healing done and healing done by 10% and healing received by 20%. Turns to Summer after use. (Costs 5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second cooldown)
- Blessing of Summer: Bless an ally for 30 seconds, causing their attacks to have a 40% chance to deal 30% additional damage as Holy damage. Turns to Autumn after use. (Costs 5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second cooldown)
- Blessing of Autumn: Bless an ally for 30 seconds, causing their cooldowns to recover 30% faster. Turns to Winter after use. (Costs 5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second cooldown)
- Blessing of Winter: Bless an ally for 30 seconds. Their attacks deal (5% of Attack Power or Spell Power) Frost damage and reduce enemies' movement speed by 3% and attack speed by 2%, stacking up to 10 times. Blessing of Winter can be applied to multiple targets at once. Turns to Spring after use. (Costs 5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second cooldown)
Necrolord Paladin Covenant Ability
Vanquisher's Hammer: Throws a hammer at your target dealing (136% of Spell Power) Shadow damage, and empowering your next:
Generates 1 Holy Power.
(Instant, Costs 1 Holy Power, 30-yard range, 30-second cooldown)
Venthyr Paladin Covenant Ability
Ashen Hallow: Hallow the target area for 30 seconds. Enemies in the area suffer up to (825% of Spell Power) Shadow damage, and allies are healed for up to (630% of Spell Power), reduced if there are more than 5 targets. Within the Hallow, you may use Hammer of Wrath on any target, and its damage is increased by 100%. (1.5-second cast, Costs 20% of Base Mana, 30-yard range, 4-minute cooldown)
Other Covenant Class Abilities
You can find all class-specific Covenant abilities available for other classes linked below.
- 27 Jun. 2021: Page updated for Chains of Domination.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Vanquisher's Hammer generates 1 Holy Power.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands release.
- 31 Aug. 2020: Updated for Beta Build 35679.
- 21 Aug. 2020: Updated for Beta Build 35598.
- 12 Aug. 2020: Ashen Hallow buffed.
- 08 Aug. 2020: Blessing of the Seasons updated.
- 18 Jul. 2020: Updated Blessing of Seasons for the latest Beta update.
- 15 Jun. 2020: Blessings updated for Alpha Build 35078.
- 26 Jun. 2020: Reviewed for Alpha Build 34902.
- 20 Jun. 2020: Reviewed for Alpha Build 34821.
- 15 Jun. 2020: Reviewed for Alpha Build 34714.
- 09 Jun. 2020: Reviewed for Alpha Build 34615.
- 25 May 2020: Updated for Alpha Build 34490.
- 17 May 2020: Page added.
Which Shadowlands Covenant for Paladin?
While leveling in the Shadowlands, you will encounter four different Covenants; each desperate for your help. In exchange for your aid, they will provide you with a general and a spec-specific ability, as well as a variety of cosmetics such as mounts, pets and armor sets.
Picking the right Covenant is a hard and important decision. This guide will help you decide what the best Covenant is for paladins.
Your first character of the expansion will need to level through all four Shadowlands zones (Revendreth, Maldraxxus, Bastion and Ardenweald) and pick a Covenant at level 60. Subsequent alts can pick a Covenant at level 50 and do not need to complete all questlines.
All Shadowlands Covenant Guides
What Covenants are there?
There are 4 Covenants in the Shadowlands
- The Venthyr in Revendreth. Their Sanctum is Sinfall.
- The Necrolords in Maldraxxus. Their Sanctum is the Seat of the Primus.
- The Kyrians in Bastion. Their Sanctum is Elysian Hold.
- The Night Fae in Ardenweald. Their Sanctum is the Heart of the Forest.
Can you switch Covenant?
Yes, you can quite easily leave your Covenant and join another Covenant that you have not joined before. Simple speak to the leader of the Covenant you wish to join in Oribos.
If you left a Covenant and wish to rejoin it, the process is a bit more difficult. The Covenant sees your leaving as a betrayal, and you will have to prove your worth by completing dungeons, world quests, daily quests and more.
Rejoining a Covenant requires two weekly quests, thus takes a minimum of two weeks.
General Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant has a Signature Ability. This is an ability that all members of the Covenant get, regardless of race, class or specialization.
Venthyr Covenant Ability: Door of Shadows
- Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location
- 1 minute cooldown – 35 yd range – 1.5 secs cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability: Fleshcraft
- Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 seconds that prevents damage equal to 20% of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield, up to 50% of your maximum health.
- 2 minutes cooldown – 10 yd range – 4 seconds channel
Kyrian Covenant Ability: Summon Steward
- Call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 20% of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects.
Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities, each once per day.
- 5 minutes cooldown – instant cast
- The other abilities of the steward are predominantly temporary buffs to stats, movement speed or flat dps/hps increase.
Night Fae Covenant Ability: Soulshape
- Turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yards forward and increasing movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few seconds to teleport a short distance forward.
While out in the world, this effect has a 12 seconds duration before it wears off, but lasts indefinitely while in a rest area.
- 1.5 minute cooldown – instant cast
Paladin-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Paladins: Ashen Hallow
- Hallow the target area for 30 sec. Enemies in the area suffer up to [(55% of Spell power) * 30 / 2] Shadow damage, and allies are healed for up to [(42% of Spell power) * 30 / 2], reduced if there are more than 5 targets.
Within the Hallow, you may use Hammer of Wrath on any target, and its damage is increased by 100%.
- Costs 20% of base mana – 4 minutes cooldown – 30 yd range – 1.5 seconds cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Paladins: Vanquisher’s Hammer
- Holy: Throws a hammer at your target dealing (170% of Spell power) Shadow damage, and empowering your next Word of Glory to automatically trigger Light of Dawn.
- Protection: Throws a hammer at your target dealing (170% of Spell power) Shadow damage, and empowering your next Word of Glory to automatically trigger Shield of the Righteous.
- Retribution: Throws a hammer at your target dealing (170% of Spell power) Shadow damage, and empowering your next Templar’s Verdict to automatically trigger Divine Storm.
- Costs 1 Holy Power – 30 seconds cooldown – 30 yd range – instant cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Paladins: Divine Toll
- Holy: Instantly cast Holy Shock on up to 5 targets within 30 yards.
- Protection: Instantly cast Avenger’s Shield on up to 5 targets within 30 yards.
- Retribution: Instantly cast Judgment on up to 5 targets within 30 yards.
- Costs 15% of base mana – 1 minute cooldown – 30 yd range – instant cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Paladins: Blessing of the Seasons
- Blessing of Spring: Bless an ally for 30 sec, increasing their healing done and healing received by 10%.
- Turns to Blessing of Summer after use. 15 seconds cooldown.
- Costs 5% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – instant cast
- Blessing of Summer: Bless an ally for 30 sec, causing their attacks to have a 40% chance to deal 30% additional damage as Holy.
- Turns to Blessing of Autumn after use. 15 seconds cooldown.
- Costs 5% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 100 yd range – instant cast
- Blessing of Autumn: Bless an ally for 30 sec, causing their cooldowns to recover 30% faster.
- Turns to Blessing of Winter after use. 15 seconds cooldown.
- Costs 5% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – instant cast
- Blessing of Winter: Bless an ally for 30 sec. Their attacks deal [5 / 100 * max(Attack power, Spell power) * (1 + Versatility)] Frost damage and reduce enemies’ movement speed by 3% and their attack speed by 2%, stacking 10 times.
- Turns to Blessing of Spring after use. 15 seconds cooldown.
- Costs 5% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – instant cast
Best Covenant for Holy Paladin
The best Covenant for holy paladins in raiding and dungeons is Kyrian, without a doubt. The heal from Divine Toll is a smart heal, making the ability a strong burst heal on those allies who need it most. The Night Fae Covenant is also quite strong, but does require you to select an appropriate ally every 15 seconds. While the utility of it is amazing, do realize that this does not directly reflect in your HPS numbers. If you have a raid leader who is obsessed by numbers, you might just wanna pick Kyrian to appease them.
November 23rd update: Just go Kyrian, really. It is by far the BiS option for Hpal – the other 3 don’t even come close.
Both Venthyr and Kyrian are safe choices for holy paladin in Arena and Battlegrounds. While Blessing of the Seasons from the Night Fae Covenant is strong too, it can be hard to use well in a hectic fight. The Necrolord Covenant falls flat for HPal when compared to the others.
Best Covenant for Protection Paladin
For raiding, I recommend Necrolord for protection paladins. Vanquisher’s Hammer (the Necrolord ability) does good single target damage while also giving a slight boost to survivability. For mythic+ dungeons and on AOE fights, the Kyrian Covenant performs best.
Blessing of the Seasons provides your party or raid with decent buffs, but offers you very little personal gain. You could go for this if you’re very selfless and just love helping others perform well. Personally I do not find it very fun to play.
November 23rd update:Protection paladins will have a tough time picking a Covenant, as the viability differs greatly between AOE and single target. Kyrian performs great on fights with multiple targets, but is VERY bad on single target because Divine Toll only casts 1 Avenger’s Shield if there is 1 target (instead of 5 shields on that 1 target). Venthyr does good on single target, but does not compare to Kyrian on AOE situations.
The prot pala community seems to be split between two courses; some prot pala mains will level two paladins so they have one for each type of content. Most protection pally’s are leaning towards Kyrian, and trust in Blizzard to buff Divine Toll so it fires 5 Avenger’s Shields even on single target.
Kyrian – maybe? None of the abilities are currently all that great for protection paladin in Arena and Battlegrounds – just as protection paladin itself isn’t great in PVP.
Best Covenant for Retribution Paladin
Venthyr is a solid choice for retribution paladin in raiding and dungeons, though Kyrian outperforms it in AOE situations. I would recommend you pick Venthyr for PVE overall, but if you are an avid mythic+ pusher by all means go Kyrian. Just don’t pick Necrolord – currently it is horribly undertuned.
November 23rd update: Venthyr is still the best for single target, and Kyrian still does the most damage in fights with multiple targets. Unfortunately ret pala’s suffer from the same dilemma as prot pala’s, with Venthyr being pretty bad for AOE and Kyrian not performing well on single target. Personally I would pick Kyrian, as it seems just a little bit better overall. Night Fae is meh, and Necrolord is still absolutely terrible.
Both the Kyrian and the Night Fae Covenant work well for ret pala in Arena and BGs. The Night Fae Covenant has a bit more potential but also costs more effort to use (though you could just always cast all blessings on yourself, which is easier but also dimishes its potential). The choice between Kyrian and Night Fae comes down to personal preference; if you also play PVE, for example, you might just wanna pick Kyrian since it’s strong there as well.
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
Your choice of Covenant as a Protection Paladin is a big choice of your adventure into the Shadowlands. To help you make this choice we have summarised some of the strengths and weaknesses of each covenant:
|Kyrian||Raiding||Combining Divine Toll with Ringing Clarity allows you to have 1-4 Holy Power on demand every minute which can be of value in Raiding. You also gain a large amount of Mastery with Pelagos and a second health potion and a full dispel through Phial of Serenity. Good all-around choice.||B|
|M+||Divine Toll just feels great in Dungeons. AoE interrupt, up to 5 Holy Power (depending on amount of enemies) every minute, and it is very visually satisfying to press. |
Phial of Serenity is an extremely potent utility choice in some dungeons, particularly Plaguefall.
|Venthyr||Raiding||Very High Burst DPS and the ability to cast Hammer of Wrath whilst Ashen Hallow is active, but with the downside of a long cooldown. Requires planned use and for you to not be moving the boss too much. In a raid situation this is not likely to be a issue.||A|
|M+||The high DPS from Ashen Hallow is always valuable in M+, however in higher keys you may lose value from this as you find the need to kite. Door of Shadows can open opportunities to do skips, should others be able to skip as well.||C|
|Night Fae||Raiding||Provides buffs for your raid group which need to have some pre-planned use to be the most effective. Soulshape is very valuable mobility in a raid setting, as Flicker can allow you to cross over deadly mechanics.||B|
|M+||The buffs can be quite difficult to manage, as each should go on a different player, but if you are able to manage this task successfully you can provide a good bonus to your group. Soulshape allows you to kite with ease in higher keys.||C|
|Necrolord||Raiding||Vanquisher's Hammer does provide the highest single-target DPS of any Covenant, but it can be quite challenging to use effectively as Protection, as you need to alter how you use Word of Glory. In a raid setting, this can be problematic, as your Shield of the Righteous uptime may be in a good position, but using Word of Glory will put you over the max duration, thus wasting potential uptime.||F|
|M+||Similar to raiding, the concerns with having to alter how you use Word of Glory exist in M+ too. However, you are able to use Fleshcraft more throughout combat periods, as in raiding there will not typically be too much downtime for you to channel this.||E|
An additional note about Arena, as this is an important part of the gearing process this season: Kyrian and Night Fae do quite well in this area. Kyrian gives you more Holy Power for healing, and Night Fae allows you buff your team.
We advise this all-purpose Pelagos (Kyrian) tree for Raiding, Mythic+, and Torghast as Protection Paladin. For more in-depth information about Soulbinds and Covenants as Protection Paladin, please continue to the Choosing the Right Covenant section below.
Best Conduits for Protection Paladin
Conduits are very similar to Azerite Traits in that they are something that you specifically target to enhance your character. They are also shared among all Covenants with the exception of one Potency Conduit, which is Covenant-specific and interacts with the Class ability from that Covenant. These are Ringing Clarity, Hallowed Discernment, Righteous Might and The Long Summer.
Your first Potency Conduit will always be Punish the Guilty. On some Soulbind trees you will find yourself in a position where you are looking to insert another Potency Conduit as not all trees will facilitate you using 2x Potency Conduits. The Covenant Potency Conduits mentioned above will be that 2nd choice.
Best Potency Conduits for Protection Paladin
- Punish the Guilty
- Ringing Clarity, Hallowed Discernment, Righteous Might, or The Long Summer
Best Endurance Conduits for Protection Paladin
- Resolute Defender
- Royal Decree
- Shielding Words
Best Finesse Conduits for Protection Paladin
- Light's Barding
- Echoing Blessings
Conduits for Protection Paladin
The Conduits mentioned under each subsection are ranked from best to worst.
Protection Paladin Potency Conduits
- Punish the Guilty turns what was already a strong ability (Shield of the Righteous) into an even stronger one! A must-have for any Protection Paladin.
- Ringing Clarity (Kyrian) allows your Divine Toll to have a chance to cast 3 more times on the main target. This also means that in Single Target each Divine Toll has a chance to generate 4 Holy Power!
- Hallowed Discernment (Venthyr) allows Ashen Hallow to heal the lowest health ally and strikes the lowest health enemy an additional time in its duration.
- The Long Summer (Night Fae) increases the duration of Blessing of Summer.
- Righteous Might (Necrolord) increases the damage dealt by Vanquisher's Hammer and heals you for the damage done.
- Vengeful Shock makes targets hit by your Avenger's Shield take more damage for 5 seconds. This was previously a powerful pick but recent tuning has made it a low-priority pick.
- Adaptive Armor Fragment is new for Patch 9.1 and will increase your Strength by a set percentage of your total Strength (3.2% at 226 item level) when you are healed by another player. The relative power of this Conduit compared to all other options means that you are very unlikely to use it.
Protection Paladin Endurance Conduits
- Resolute Defender allows Shield of the Righteous to extend the duration of Ardent Defender turning it into a more powerful defensive cooldown.
- Shielding Words applies a shield after you heal with Word of Glory. As this is only really cast when it is free, it is lower down on the list.
- Golden Path provides passive healing to Consecration. The healing it provides is very minor and should not be chased after for that purpose. It is a nice perk rather than a powerful modification of a spell.
- Royal Decree adds a nice perk to Guardian of Ancient Kings where it makes your next Word of Glory free; additionally it reduces the cooldown of Guardian of Ancient Kings.
- Divine Call reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield when you take damage, but this cooldown reduction has a cooldown of its own making this conduit very unappealing.
- Condensed Anima Sphere is new for Patch 9.1 and will heal you for a small percentage of your Maximum Health when you take damage every 10 seconds. The total amount of healing provided by this Conduit is not worthwhile to consider.
Protection Paladin Finesse Conduits
- Light's Barding increases the duration of Divine Steed. Finally, a way to make our movement speed boost last a reasonable amount of time!
- Echoing Blessings modifies your Blessings. It gives a small speed boost to Blessing of Freedom, but the main reason this would be used is the additional damage reduction it provides to Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection. All of these effects stay for an additional 8 seconds after the Blessing ends.
- Pure Concentration allows your Concentration Aura to also reduce the duration of Fear effects. Very specific conditions are required for you to need this conduit. It is more of an "I will take it if I need it" than an "I must use it".
- Wrench Evil reduces the cast time of Turn Evil and increases the range by 10 yards. As you do not really use Turn Evil that often in normal play, enhancing it at the cost of another Conduit seems like a waste of a Conduit.
Choosing the right Covenant
Before going more in depth about Covenants it is important to understand that any of the 4 Covenants can be played as a Protection 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. Kyrian and Venthyr are the two that stand out the most for Protection Paladin due to their powerful Class Abilities and Soulbinds.
- Kyrian — Strong in AoE scenarios, Good generic pick
- Venthyr — Strong single-target DPS, group healing, and the ability to teleport!
- Night Fae — Utility for group members
- Necrolord — High single-target DPS but quite restrictive
Kyrian For Protection Paladin
Kyrian is a good generic option for Protection Paladins.
Divine Toll fires up to 5 Avenger's Shields on nearby enemies (total amount is based on enemy count). Each of the Avenger's Shields will generate Holy Power, and bounce to nearby targets. It can be further enhanced and have a good place in single-target scenarios with the Ringing Clarity Conduit.
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 elsewhere.
While Pelagos, Kleia and Forgelite Prime Mikanikos all provide their own strengths, Pelagos is your go-to Soulbind. Combat Meditation is a powerful throughput increase, and Let Go of the Past is a consistent piece of magical damage reduction.
New final trait — Newfound Resolve, working like the Lady Inerva Darkvein Mythic mechanic, and granting you 12% Strength and Stamina for 15s if you succeed in its test. This can be problematic as the add can spawn behind you.
As an alternative you can also use Kleia. All of her benefits are tied to group play. Valiant Strikes, Mentorship and Pointed Courage all tie into this.
New final trait — Light the Path modifies Valiant Strikes by making each stack grant 0.25% more Critical Strike. When the stacks convert into a heal, you and the affected party member gain 5% Critical Strike. This, again, is just purely offensive.
Mikanikos, in Patch 9.1, is a very competitive Soulbind choice. Reactive Retrofitting provides you with a very potent absorb shield on a regular basis. Spawns of Bron are very impactful and the new final trait allows you to use Divine Toll more regularly!
New final trait — Effusive Anima Accelerator deals AoE damage around the target you used Divine Toll on, and reduces its cooldown by up to 20s based on the number of targets hit.
Venthyr For Protection Paladin
Where Kyrian's focus was AoE, Venthyr's focus is high single-target burst. It really shines on longer encounters, such as in Raiding.
Ashen Hallow, when used, creates a large red Consecration-style circle on your targeted location. This will last for 30 seconds and will deal very high damage to 5 targets. Whilst you are inside the Ashen Hallow you are able to use Hammer of Wrath and the damage of it will be increased by 100%. It will also heal allies in the area. Yes, it has a 4-minute cooldown, but the power of it more than justifies the cost.
Door of Shadows is a targeted teleport. If you have played Overwatch before, you know what to expect. Pick a location that is within Line of Sight and after a 1.5-second cast you are teleported there. Typical uses of this are to cover large distances of space, traverse vertically, skip packs in M+, etc.; the possibilities are endless!
Nadjia the Mistblade provides you with a mini bloodlust in the form of Thrill Seeker and increases the effectiveness of consumables with Exacting Preparation. Sinful Preservation is new in Patch 9.1 and this will provide you with an absorb shield when you use a Health Potion or Healthstone; this will be very powerful (as long as you remember to use them!). Nadija will be your default choice as a Venthyr.
New final trait — Fatal Flaw, granting you 20% Critical Strike or Versatility after The Euphoria effect from Thrill Seeker ends for 10 seconds. Since both are percentage ratings, they are unaffected by diminishing returns making it a blatantly ludicrous amount of stats.
Theotar the Mad Duke is a bit of a mix of Nadjia and Draven. However if you can play around the Soothing Shade Parasol you will get the best of both worlds. Soothing Shade provides you with a random chance to spawn a Parasol which grants you Mastery and Wasteland Propriety provides you and the group with Versatility when Ashen Hallow is used.
It's Always Tea Time attaches a damage reduction to the Soothing Shade Parasol. This means if you are able to stay inside the Parasol you will be gaining Damage Reduction from it directly, more damage reduction from having enhanced Mastery on your Consecration, and a higher chance to Block from the Mastery.
New final trait — Party Favors will provide you with an Augment Rune-style item once per day. When used you will gain a 4-hour buff (which persists through death) that provides either Strength or a random secondary stat. This item will have a 1-hour cooldown allowing you to change what benefit you get each time. If you change your Soulbind to Nadija or Draven the buff will disappear.
General Draven provides you with more personal defensive utility than the others. Service In Stone provides you with damage reduction at low health, Enduring Gloom provides you with a health shield when you use Door of Shadows, and Hold Your Ground provides you with more Stamina when standing still. Draven will be picked when you need more Effective Health for Raid Progression — during the last season of content the benefits of Draven were not necessary as a reference — however it comes at the cost of losing DPS.
New final trait — Battlefield Presence provides you with up to 3% damage reduction based on the amount of enemies nearby. This functions the same as the old Protection Paladin talent Last Defender. Ultimately, it is quite a minor gain when compared to other Soulbinds.
Night Fae For Protection Paladin
Night Fae is the group utility pick for Protection Paladins.
Blessing of the Seasons provides you with a new Blessing spell which rotates through 4 individual spells. They always rotate in the following order Blessing of Summer > Blessing of Autumn > Blessing of Winter > Blessing of Spring. 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.
- Blessing of Summer — Adds a damage proc to all attacks
- Blessing of Autumn — Increases cooldown reduction
- Blessing of Winter — Adds a small damage proc to attacks and reduces enemy attack speed/li>
- Blessing of Spring — Increases healing done and received
New in Patch 9.1 — The debuff from Blessing of Winter can now be applied to multiple enemies simultaneously.
Soulshape is very similar to Ghost Wolf but accessible to all! Whilst you are in the travel form you are unable to cast spells, but if you press Soulshape again you will Flicker a short distance!
Night Fae Soulbinds
Niya will be your go-to Soulbind choice as a Night Fae. Grove Invigoration provides you with additional health/Mastery whenever you cast Blessing of the Seasons, which is a nice bonus. For reasons that will be mentioned in the sections for Dreamweaver and Korayn, it is your only competitive option as a Protection Paladin.
Niya's Tools: Poison will trigger from Avenger's Shield making it a consistent DPS increase.
New final trait — Bonded Hearts, causing you to effectively heal up to 5 nearby friendly targets for 2% of their health every 15s. If you heal somebody from another Covenant — which is kind of difficult considering that 95% of the DPS are Night Fae these days — each stack of Grove Invigoration is amplified by 50%.
Dreamweaver has the unfortunate effect of having Podtender as an inevitable pick, which ultimately makes it a less-than-ideal choice. When Podtender triggers, you lose all threat, are unable to be resurrected until the effect is over, and, worst of all, you just have to sit there and watch whatever killed you kill others. The defensive aspects of Dreamweaver are relatively unimpactful as a Protection Paladin as you will rarely overheal for Empowered Chrysalis and Waking Dreams has a long cooldown associated with the effect.
New final trait — Dream Delver is a very simple damage/healing benefit which increases your damage/healing to targets by 1% per event for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3%. The uptime on this effect is near 100%.
Korayn is similar to General Draven as it is a strictly defensive option, however similar to Draven it comes at the cost of DPS. Face Your Foes is a consistent damage reduction as you are always facing your foe! Alternatively you can use Hold the Line for a larger amount of damage reduction, however it is only Physical damage that is reduced (this is a majority of your damage taken in many scenarios).
You are also able to make Korayn into a Damage-oriented Soulbind by capitalizing on First Strike windows and playing around Wild Hunt Strategem, however it typically comes at a lower total DPS amount than Niya.
New final trait — Wild Hunt Strategem allows you to gain a small amount of execute damage whenever you trigger First Strike. However, to trigger Wild Hunt Stratagem you will require another target on low health, therefore in many realistic scenarios it will be very difficult or impossible to trigger.
Necrolord For Protection Paladin
Necrolord is our last Covenant. When stacked against the other Covenants it does not have a remaining clear strength, but it is still strong in its own right.
Vanquisher's Hammer is a strong single-target damaging ability that when cast will generate 1 Holy Power and make your next Word of Glory also trigger Shield of the Righteous. While this seems good in theory, it quite heavily restricts how you use Word of Glory as you only get 1 free cast each time Vanquisher's Hammer's cooldown is back.
Fleshcraft is a 3-second channel granting you a shield for 40% of your Maximum Health, with 20% damage reduction bolted on to it for good measure. You are still able to block, dodge, and parry during it, and its cooldown is reduced by 1 second every time you walk past a corpse you helped kill.
Plague Deviser Marileth provides you with some interesting effects. Volatile Solvent passively soaks up corpses and grants you buffs related to the enemy type it came from: 120 Mastery for Humanoids, 2% Primary Stat for Beasts, 5% Stamina for Demons, and a 5% heal for Undead. In Mythic+, this means you will almost always have 120 Mastery, and get relatively frequent 5% max HP heals at the end of packs.
Ooz's Frictionless Coating provides you with a 15% shield every 30 seconds (it triggers when below 50% health, but as part of normal play as a Protection Paladin it is every 30 seconds at least). Ultimate Form will allow you to regenerate Health during and after Fleshcraft and be immune to Crowd Control.
Undulating Maneuvers is new in Patch 9.1. This works as a reduced version of a Brewmaster Monk's Stagger.
New final trait — Kevin's Oozeling will spawn when you use Vanquisher's Hammer. It will spawn a pet guardian that melees whatever you autoattacked last. Whenever somebody nearby takes real damage (i.e. not absorbed), they gain a small shield. You gain 2% extra damage to anything the oozeling touched while it was up. When it despawns, all the effects go away.
Emeni will be your go-to pick. Lead by Example provides you and nearby allies with primary stat when you use Vanquisher's Hammer. Emeni's Magnificent Skin provides you with a max health buff for 30 seconds after using Fleshcraft. Gnashing Chompers provides you with stacking Haste when an enemy is defeated, great in Mythic+, not so great in most raiding scenarios. Resilient Stitching will provide you with a shield that absorbs 15% of your max health of magic damage every minute. It is simple and powerful.
New final trait — Pustule Eruption triggers when you cast Fleshcraft. You will generate 3 pustules per second you channeled Fleshcraft. When you take damage a pustule will detonate and deal some damage to nearby enemies and heal nearby allies as well.
Bonesmith Heirmir is a more DPS-oriented Soulbind choice with Serrated Spaulders reflecting damage taken and Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone further enhancing your damage output. Waking Bone Breastplate provides you with a 5% health buff when you are surrounded by 3 or more enemies which can be quite frequently, even in raid scenarios.
New final trait — Mnemonic Equipment is a fairly simple damage buff to targets below 35% health.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated Soulbind trees. Included new Necrolord change that it generates 1 Holy Power as of Patch 9.0.5. Updated Fleshcraft in line with 9.0.5 rework. Updated text on Dreamweaver as it looks like it is not changing any time soon.
- 01 Mar. 2021: Added Royal Decree to Endurance Conduit list.
- 20 Jan. 2021: Added summary table of Covenants.
- 05 Dec. 2020: Added small note to Punish the Guilty to indicate it is still best after nerfs.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Updated to fix Soulbind trees and update some information with regards to Fleshcraft.
- 20 Nov. 2020: Updated with latest changes.
- 17 Nov. 2020: Page created
Protection Paladin Covenants, Soulbinds, Legendaries & Gear guide
So 3 out of the 4 covenants have some use cases for Protection Paladin, Necrolord being the odd one out which really has no viability in its current form. Ashen Hallow is the best for your damage as the cooldown is super overloaded due to its long cooldown. Kyrian is really nice for your own personal defense and utility especially when paired with First Avenger. Night Fae is the most supportive covenant as you’re able to provide even more blessings to your party or raid, some of them being super strong for certain classes (I’m looking at you shadow priests going after my autumn blessing!!)
Summon Steward is an ability every Kyrian gets regardless of their class. This signature ability will give you a potion called Phial of Serenity which gives you an extra health pot that doesn’t share a cooldown with the normal health potions and healthstones. It also has the additional effects of removing debuffs such as bleeds and diseases on you which is very valuable in both dungeons and raids.
Paladin Specific Covenant Ability:Divine Toll shoots out up to 5 Avenger’s Shields on nearby enemies, the total is determined based on the enemies around you. Each shield generates holy power so if you’re fighting 5 enemies you will max out on holy power with a single button press. This ability excels in an AoE environment such as M+ as that’s where you will gain the most benefit from the ability. It is still strong in a raid especially when paired with Pelagos which will grant you a large mastery boost when used however it does lose a lot of its value on pure single target. The ability also has a very short cooldown of just 1 minute.
Signature Ability: Fleshcraft is the ability every Necrolord gets regardless of class. The ability itself provides a shield which strength is based on time channeled. Additionally you gain 20% DR while it is channeling. It is a unique channel so you are able to dodge, parry and block while channeling. This is an insanely good ability as you’re pretty much immortal while channeling.
Paladin Specific Covenant Ability:Vanquisher’s Hammer is a 30 second cooldown which throws out a hammer at 1 target and empowers your next Word of Glory to additionally grant Shield of the Righteous. The ability is very underwhelming compared to other covenants and shouldn’t ever really be taken, yes it increases your uptime on Shield of the Righteous but your uptime is usually fine once you reach a decent amount of haste (About 20%). The only benefit of Necrolord is that Fleshcraft is by far the best universal covenant ability for tanks.
Door of Shadows is the ability every Venthyr gets regardless of class. This is pretty valuable for a protection paladin as we don’t really have many mobility abilities.
Paladin Specific Covenant Ability:Ashen Hallow is a casted ability which places an insanely large version of Consecration on the ground which lasts for 30 seconds, while inside the area you are able to cast Hammer of Wrath on any target, regardless of health and it deals 100% increased damage. Additionally, the Hallow ticks on both allies and enemies, healing and damaging each respectively. The only downside of Ashen Hallow is that it has a whopping 4 minute cooldown but it is justified as the ability is insanely strong. It is insanely good in raids and allows you to burst as much as some DPS and is definitely the best covenant to go if you’re interested in pushing your damage. It is pretty good in M+ as well, often decimating a pack or two, you might lose some value in higher keys when you have to kite as you might have to kite out of it however it has such a large radius that you should be able to remain in it throughout the kite. The main thing about this ability is you need to plan ahead when using it as you ideally want to remain inside the area for the full 30 seconds.
Soulshape is the ability every Night Fae gets regardless of Class. Similar to the Venthyr ability, this one provides us with extra mobility in the form of a blink and a movement speed increase which is better than the venthyr one.
Paladin Specific Covenant Ability:Blessing of the Seasons is a set of buffs which are on a rotation that changes each time you use one. The 4 buffs are:
- Blessing of Summer - Adds a damage proc with a 40% chance to all attacks in which the attacks will deal 30% additional holy damage.
- Blessing of Autumn - Increases all cooldown recovery rate by 30%
- Blessing of Winter - Causes melee attacks to deal a small amount of additional damage and apply a debuff to the target which reduces it’s attack speed by 2% and movement speed by 3%, this stacks 10 times.
- Blessing of Spring - Causes the target to deal 10% more healing and receive 20% more healing.
The buff starts on Blessing of Summer and resets to Blessing of Summer when you pull a raid boss. These buffs can provide a nice boost to members of your raid, mainly Autumn and Spring. Autumn is very strong on classes such as Shadow Priests where they can make use of their own cooldown reducing abilities on top of this to reduce their cooldowns even further. Spring can be placed on a specific healing during their cooldowns to increase their effectiveness or can be placed on yourself or your co tank if you know you’re going to be taking a lot of damage as the 20% increased healing received is really nice. Just a note, placing Spring on Kael’Thas means he takes 20% increased healing from all sources which means he can be pushed extremely fast! The blessings are harder to utilise fully in M+ as you have no way to reset the rotation. Blessing of Summer is really strong on AoE especially on a fire mage during cooldowns.
Soulbinds and Conduits
Foregelite’s ability Bron’s Call to Action was changed in 9.1 and it is now very good for tanks as they increased his damage and it’s uptime.
Just a note, on pure ST it is technically better to run Nadja and what you can do if you want to be super sweaty is you can pop a tome on prepull, pre pot a potion to gain the benefit from Refined palate and swap to Nadja just before the pull for the largest DPS gain.
Just a note, Niya is still probably on par defensively as you get a large amount of mastery every time you use one of the blessings but Korayn is another viable option.
I will list all conduits for Paladin and rank them from best to worse (N/A to the Covenant specific conduits).
- Ringing Clarity (Kyrian Specific and is okay, should be taken as 2nd potency)
- Righteous Might (Necrolord Specific and you should take it as a 2nd potency)
- Hallowed Discernment (Venthyr Specific and you should always take it)
- The Long Summer (Night Fae Specific is very strong on AoE)
- Punish the Guilty - Always take this.
- Adaptive Armor Fragment
- Vengeful Shock
You will most likely only ever use the top 2 here.
- Resolute Defender
- Royal Decree
- Shielding Words
- Golden Path
- Condensed Anima Sphere
- Divine Call
- Echoing Blessing
- Light’s Barding
- Pure Concentration
- Wrench Evil
The Mad Paragon is by far the best legendary for DPS especially when combined with venthyr’s Ashen Hallow as it increases the damage of your Hammer of Wrath by 30% as well as increasing the duration of your Avenging Wrath by 1 second. This legendary is unmatched for damage increase and if you’re not having any issues surviving then I highly recommend you run this to boost your already absurd damage even further.
Bulwark of Righteous Fury increases the damage of your next Shield of the Righteous by 30% per target your Avenger’s Shield hits. This ability can stack up to 5 for a total of 150% increase. This is your go to legendary for M+ as you’ll have high uptime on a large number of mobs and no other legendary will come close to this one in terms of sustained AoE damage.
The Magistrate’s Judgement will increase your total holy power generation over a longer period as your Judgement has a 45% chance to reduce the cost of your next holy power spending ability to 2 down from 3. This is the best defensive option for paladin when it comes to raiding as it also allows you to provide more off-healing to your raid with all the extra holy power you will have.
Radiant Embers increases the duration of Ashen Hallow by 15 seconds to a total of 45 seconds, however if you leave it the effect will end. Additionally, the cooldown of Ashen Hallow is reduced by up to 50% proportionally to how long you were standing inside the effect. This legendary has some niche use cases, if you want ashen for a short period of time and want it more frequently then this would be a decent legendary to choose as the ashen itself doesn’t lose any of its power and effectively can put an exceptionally strong cooldown on 2 minutes down from 4.
Some really good trinkets to be mindful for are:
Blood-Spattered Scale: A really strong on demand shield which scales based on the number of targets around you.
Shard of Annhylde’s Aegis: an insanely powerful trinket for M+ and any situation where you’re being hit by multiple damage instances at once as this has no cap or internal cooldown on its absorb rate once used.
Reactive Defense Matrix: pretty strong trinket which deals a decent amount of damage as well as preventing.
Salvaged Fusion Amplifier: Our best dps trinket from the raid as it just provides a flat damage bonus to our auto attacks.
Splintered Heart of Al'ar: A really good trinket to have when you’re learning fights as it grants you an extra cheat death which allows you to limit test easier. (This is still really good if you are struggling on fights).
Weave of Warped Fates: Similar to the Splitered Heart of Al’ar this is a cheat death trinket however this actually makes you die and gives you a small window to revive yourself meaning it can reset certain boss stacks.
Phial of Putrefaction: A very strong trinket in terms of DPS and completely passive, boring yes, but strong and if you’re looking at pushing damage this is the trinket you want to go for.
Tormented Rack Fragment: A strong primarily passive trinket which adds a small mini game of picking up souls when targets die with it on.
Old Warrior’s Soul: Decent stat proc trinket, provides some small raid healing.
Pretty much every tank is looking at the Blood set as most tanks do not scale well with main stat, blood will give you a large bonus in both survivability and damage without even having to think about it.
For individual shards you should always run
The other shards you should run should be based on the set bonus you would like to have.
Covenant paladin abilities shadowlands
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