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 Shadowlands Launch.
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 Raid Covenants|
|Best Mythic+ Covenants|
|Kyrian||Low Keys: Great High Keys: Great||Pelagos|
|Necrolord||Low Keys: Good High Keys: Decent||Emeni|
|Venthyr||Low Keys: Good High Keys: Good||Nadjia*|
*Theotar has good early value if you need the endurance conduit before Nadjia gets one. Draven also takes time to unlock but will be late-renown pick.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Raiding
Discipline in Shadowlands remains focused on producing large bursts of healing through building and extending Atonement and dealing high damage afterwords.
The VenthyrMindgames stands as the strongest option in raids due to how well it aligns with your ramps to produce huge healing. It also converts some damage the affected enemy deals to the raid into healing on them instead. As long as it converts some damage into healing it will also return some mana back to you. Overall it is an easy ability to utilize that has strong synergy with Spirit Shell. Build up heavy Atonements, cast Schism, cast Mindgames.....profit!
It also has great support around the Covenant. The General Draven soulbind grants an excellent healing buff in Hold Your Ground, strong mobility with Door of Shadows, and a good supporting conduit with Shattered Perceptions. Overall, its a great package for raid healing.
Due to how Atonement interacts with the various Covenant abilities, there will still be some power with the other Covenants to be had, but the Venthyr is the most flexible and well-rounded Covenant for raiding at the moment making it the easy selection.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Mythic+
In Mythic+ the Kyrian Covenant reigns supreme thanks to how well Boon of the Ascended can assist with dungeons of any level. At lower level dungeons it is easy to use Boon of the Ascended as a pure AoE damage tool, but as you go higher, the damage that the Ascended Blast deals converts into so much Atonement healing that it is crucial to healing higher level Prideful (the new seasonal affix). 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.
Even if you are not running with the ideal Covenant for Raiding or Mythic+, your gameplay will still be the primary factor in determining your performance. Each Covenant has various dungeon buffs and there are many ways to maximize your chose Covenant to optimize your output.
Discipline Priest Raiding Covenant Analysis
Due to the raid design, and the fact that some abilities naturally play towards the strength of the cleansing effect provided by Summon Steward / Phial of Serenity. there already is a value proposition in being able to negate mechanics from it. While some of these effects have been turned into magic debuffs rather than bleeds, there is still solid benefit in cleansing these debuffs, especially when mistakes happen and the alternative is death or expending overly large amounts of mana to power heal you through the error.
Boon of the Ascended has some value being utilized with a Spirit Shell type ramp, but due to the cast time to activate and cooldown on Ascended Blast it is much more challenging to utilize compared to the top choice in Venthyr.
Some of the soulbind options are also solid to bring to the raiding table, especially on Day 1. 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. Later on in the tier, Pelagos even gains Combat Meditation to round it all up and seal the deal.
Kyrian is a good 2nd place choice compared to the Venthyr in a raiding environment. More difficult to utilize your class ability with your standard ramp windows, but certainly possible.
Unholy Nova is the Covenant ability for the Necrolords. Like Ascended Eruption, 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 huge amount of intellect 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 the Venthyr 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 20-50% of your max health depending on the type and quantity of the corpses you consume. Its a long channel which can be difficult to utilize in raiding, especially if heavy movement is involved. If there is sufficient downtime, you can create some strong shields to better mitigate heavy burst 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 10% 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 which can have some value but can also have large downsides. If you are holding Rapture for specific events then this cooldown reduction could be irrelevant. In that case you could reduce the cooldown of a DPS instead.
The soulbinds only become good late in the tier, but with some serious downsides, thanks to soulbind traits offered by 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 is very frustrating 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 maybe they get another cooldown in before the fight ends, but you basically commit to having lower throughput than your alternative Covenants.
Your Covenant ability as a Venthyr is an absolute powerhouse for Discipline in raiding. Each encounter in Castle Nathria has predictable burst patterns that can make planning your ability use very straightforward. While the healing that Mindgames does through Atonement is often viewed as the most flashy part of the spell, it is important to keep in mind that many encounters do feature steady ticking or pulsing damage granting the damage reversal part of the ability good value as well. Whenever that damage is reversed into healing that also means you will regenerate mana on top, effectively refunding Mindgames's initial cost and then some!
However, the soulbinds for the Covenant really take time to reach their maximum potential, with General Draven's soulbind being the top pick. While it will take longer to unlock the gargoyle, it is worth the wait as it provides a massive soulbind trait in Hold Your Ground, which is extremely easy to control and leverages to your advantage as an immobile and burst focused healer. The Service In Stone trait is an adequate defensive, but mainly just a complement to the end-tree trait.
Before you can unlock Draven, you'll have access to Nadjia and Theotar. Nadjia's haste buff looks quite attractive for the haste-hungry priest, and can be cancel aura'd to time with your ramp. It takes time to get the first defensive conduit so the chatty Duke is a good companion if you need the extra defense and finally Draven takes time to unlock but is worth the wait.
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 when you're playing the normal or heroic dungeons and breezing through the content. When you get to more challenging content, especially Mythic raiding and high Mythic+ Prideful, you immediately notice that you don't have any sort of throughput increase to help you heal the content.[/op]
Boon of the Ascended is so flexible and useful for dungeon content. It shores up your weak points for Tyrannical bosses and Prideful so well at high levels that you really notice when you don't have access to it. The other Covenants can be utilized in dungeons but have other high downsides, like Mindgames giving you quick but short-lived burst, or Unholy Nova granting you a long DoT but lacking in any sort of "oomph" to push health pools up and keep them there.
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.