Best Covenants for Discipline Priests in Shadowlands
A core choice at the start of your journey in the Shadowlands will have you decide where your allegiance lies; would you rather support the Kyrian of Bastion, the Necrolords of Maldraxxus, the Night Fae of Ardenweald, or the Venthyr of Revendreth?
Choosing a covenant is the most important decision your character will make in Shadowlands, as the covenant abilities and soulbinds will significantly impact your spec's gameplay and performance. Through this choice, your rotation changes, certain bonuses appear in dungeons for your entire group, and you are able to follow the story in different paths.
In this Shadowlands guide, we will help you choose the right covenant for your playstyle, based on how much they impact your performance as a Discipline Priest, updated for Patch 9.2 Eternity's End and Shadowlands Season 3
Best Covenants for Discipline Priest
As a quick recap, we've created the table below to highlight the notable differences between covenants. Don't hesitate to click the headers to go to their respective guides!
|Best Discipline Priest Covenants and Soulbinds for Raid|
|Single Legendary||Double Legendary|
|Best Discipline Priest Covenants and Soulbinds for Mythic+|
|Single Legendary||Double Legendary|
Covenant Choice Changes with Patch 9.2 for Discipline Priest
When it comes to covenant selection, to start 9.2 you will not have double legendaries or set bonuses at your disposal so the spec will start the tier with the Kyrian covenant.
With double legendaries and set bonuses the Venthyr will do extremely well on some encounters with the significant crit buff that is provided by the Venthyr Covenant Legendary Shadow Word: Manipulation synergizing with the increased damage that Penance will receive from the spec's set bonuses. The problem that this build faces however is that it is too bursty for some encounters. Fights like Halondrus that can have a lengthy duration to their AoE damage will find Venthyr somewhat lacking in being able to completely cover the mechanic.
Because of this, Kyrian still sees significant gameplay with double legendaries and is often the default selection for many encounters. Anduin and Jailer stand as strong Venthyr picks while all other encounters at the moment should be Kyrian.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Raiding
With 9.2 you will start as Kyrian and then swap between Kyrian and Venthyr frequently when double legendaries and set bonuses are available.
But why Venthyr? Your 4-set bonus provides a significant damage buff to Penance while your Venthyr legendary provides a hefty buff to your Crit Strike after casting Mindgames. Together, they significantly alter where your Atonement healing is generated from, even more so if The Penitent One or Scrawled Word of Recall is mixed into the equation.
With this, you can apply your Atonements as usual with Rapture into Power Word: Radiance casts but you could leverage the Scrawled Word of Recall trinket from Sanctum to reset the cooldown of your Penance to allow a faster follow-up cast to take advantage of the set bonus buff, the critical strike buff from Shadow Word: Manipulation, Schism and perhaps The Penitent One if you opt to use that legendary (more info on when you would take it on the legendaries page)
Many encounters in Sepulchur feature very steady damage coupled with more lengthy, "pulsing" aoe damage that the Venthyr ramp can not completely cover. Because of this, more bursty encounters like Jailer and Anduin will feature more Venthyr gameplay, while others like Halondrus or Lords of Dread will feature Kyrian. For boss-by-boss tips, visit the Sepulchur tips page.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Mythic+
In Mythic+ the Kyrian is excellent and with double legendaries it continues this trend. From a Mythic+ perspective Spheres' Harmony gives excellent cooldown reduction which reduces some of the spec's reliance on Shadow Mend spam that it has come to know in Season 1. Mana with the encrypted affix should be less of an issue and damage will increase in importance throughout the season, so a lower cooldown on Boon of the Ascended will only assist your overall damage and reduce your Shadow Mend reliance.
As a result, Discipline's damage will increase, as will their healing via Atonement. Furthermore, you have access to the Phial of Serenity from Summon Steward, which is excellent for cleansing various Bleeds, Curses or Poisons that you as a Priest cannot remove.
Discipline Priest Raiding Covenant Analysis
Some of the soulbind options are also solid to bring to the raiding table. Kleia grants a temporary debuff immunity in Kleia's Ascendant Phial, or a lot of stats and healing in Pelagos' Phial of Patience and Let Go of the Past. Further along, Pelagos even gains Combat Meditation to round it all up and seal the deal.
Unholy Nova is the Covenant ability for the Necrolords.Unholy Nova will split damage depending on the number of enemies hit and convert into Atonement healing only off the first enemy hit. As a result, this ability can very rapidly deteriorate in value if you hit too many enemies and is one of the more mediocre Covenant abilities for Discipline.
The benefit is that you can leverage your soulbinds to further assist your ramp ups. Lead by Example for instance provides a 13% intellect buff for 10 seconds which you can time to have just before your burst of damage to heal the raid. While that control is nice, it is not stronger than 9.1's top choice in Kyrian and can vary wildly on different encounters depending on the quantity of enemies close by. Furthermore, after heavy nerfs to the damage that the DoT deals, even if you were to only hit one enemy, the damage still pales in comparison to other Atonement synergistic options.
Fleshcraft creates a shield equal to 40% of your max health and 20% damage reduction while channeling. 9.0.5 gives it a shorter channel which can be helpful for rapidly receiving some damage reduction for an incoming burst of damage.
The chaotic Fae Guardians is the Night Fae Priest Covenant ability. It produces three faeries at once that can move to a new target depending on the spell cast. Initially they will instantly apply to an ally or enemy that you have selected. Targetting an enemy? The offensive Faerie will apply to it and the defensive and cooldown reducing faeries will apply to you. Target an ally and the offensive Faerie will not apply, while the other two will be applied on your ally.
Shadow Mend moves the Fairy that reduces a major cooldown on the target, Power Word: Shield applies 20% damage reduction and Shadow Word: Pain applies the final faerie that will regen mana if you are or an ally are actively attacking the enemy. The cooldown reduction that Discipline receives is toward Rapture/Spirit Shell which is generally very weak so you'll look to buff an ally instead.
The soulbinds are quite good as well, Dreamweaver: Social Butterfly for a free 3% versatility OR Empowered Chrysalis which redirects a very small amount of heal into a shield OR a Potency conduit; Field of Blossoms for an on-demand haste bonus; and Somnambulist as a small added M+ boost.
This Covenant can be challenging as it wants you to do many different things. Fae Fermata is the soulbind conduit that pushes you to "spread around" your damage reduction or cooldown reduction buffs, which is mana costly and GCD intensive. It reduces a cooldown that you often are planning out well in advance and needs to result in an extra use to see any sort of value. If not, you toss the cooldown reduction on a DPS and they may get another cooldown use before the fight ends.
Your Covenant ability as a Venthyr was the powerhouse for Discipline in raiding in 9.0, and in 9.2 it will return when double legendaries are available as the covenant legendary provides a hefty crit buff after casting Mindgames and the mobility from Door of Shadows is excellent for the Sepulchur raid with all the movement and Halo-void zones.
Theotar is the top throughput pick for soulbinds with the heavy stats that it provides. Soothing Shade and the rotating stat buff from Tea Time offer significant boosts to output.
Discipline Priest Mythic+ Covenant Analysis
For full descriptions check the Raiding paragraph.
Dungeons are likely an area where you will notice the impact of Fae Guardians the most when it buffs other players. It's a fun gimmick made incredibly powerful by the 9.0.5 changes. The damage reduction alone is plenty reason to take this covenant and enjoy the huge tank support that you'll provide. The more coordinated you are, the greater the cooldown reduction can be and of course the bonus mana is always nice to have on hand for challenging bosses or Prideful enemies.
Boon of the Ascended however, is dominant in Mythic+ content. It shores up your weak points for Tyrannical bosses and difficult trash packs. Kyrian is more focused on muscle-healing via Atonement transfers for dungeons which helps reduce the amount of Shadow Mend you'd need to spam in dungeons.
Discipline Priest Covenant and Soulbind Guides
Now that we have highlighted each Covenant's strengths and abilities for you to decide which is best, you can read our in-depth Covenant guides below. These pages detail the best soulbind paths for Shadowlands PvE as well as optimal covenant ability usage for each covenant.