Shadowlands Discipline Priest Guide

Necrolord Covenant for Discipline Priests

Allegiance to the Necrolord Covenant for Discipline Priest provides you with many benefits, two new active abilities, access to three soulbinds, and much more. In this guide, we will explore what are the perks for aligning yourself with the Necrolord, explaining their Covenant Abilities and Soulbinds and how they modify and enhance your toolkit both inside and out of combat. We will also recommend the best soulbinds for Necrolord Discipline Priest and explore how they impact your rotation, gearing, and talent builds. Updated for Shadowlands Launch.

If you are looking for information on how strong the Necrolord Covenant is for Discipline Priest, as well as details on which covenant is best, please visit our Best Covenant for Discipline Priest guide.

Changes to Necrolord Discipline Priests in 9.1

  • NecrolordPallid Command: Casting Unholy Nova summons a Brooding Cleric that gains 2% additional damage and healing each time an enemy affected by Unholy Transfusion is damaged by an ally, up to 100%.

Necrolord Discipline Priest Covenant Abilities

Necrolord Priest Class Ability: Unholy Nova

The Necrolord Class Ability for Priests of all specializations is Unholy Nova: a 1 minute cooldown that can be fired at an enemy, ally, or yourself. On impact, it heals nearby allies split based off the number of allies and does the same for enemies, applying at 15 second DoT. If allies damage enemies affected by this DoT, they are healed for a small amount.

Key notes for this ability:

  • When fired at an enemy or ally, it lands where the target was at the time of cast. It does NOT follow the target
  • Due to the abilities' dropoff effect, the more enemies and allies you strike with this ability, the lower the damage of the DoT and healing of the burst PER TARGET.
  • Allies damaging enemies to receive the Unholy Transfusion healing only receive a set amount of healing per attack. Cleaving no longer generates more healing for players. Festering Transfusion buffs your Unholy Nova healing, damage and duration.

This makes it a middling Atonement healing ability with some real complications in maximizing its potential. As a pure damaging resource, its not bad in dungeons, but when you get to higher level keys that require more healing to keep your team alive, this ability has sustain but not enough overall power to get the job done.

In raiding, it shares these issues. As Discipline, you're more interested in bursts of healing rather than sustain, so even if you were to reliably only hit an individual target on every encounter without having to sacrifice movement or activity time to do it, the ability would still come up short because of the middling damage it deals.

Necrolord Conduit for Unholy Nova

Festering Transfusion is the covenant conduit for Unholy Nova providing a duration and output buff. It is a solid increase that will see play in both Raid and M+.

Necrolord Priest Signature Ability: Fleshcraft

Fleshcraft was buffed in 9.0.5, making it a more potent and easier to use defensive.

While Disc is not a defensive healer, choosing the Necrolord gives you a powerful defensive at hand that grants very consistent shielding for the channel time. Look to use this leading up to incoming damage to maximize the damage reduction and shielding. On encounters where you'll want to be healing during the heavy damage, look to preemptively channel the shield so you'll at least have some absorbs for yourself

All three soulbinds modify this in some way; we will get into that later. On its own, it is an ability you can use pre-pull or wait for incoming high damage to time a strong channel.

Necrolord Exclusive Legendary for Discipline Priests

  • NecrolordPallid Command: Casting Unholy Nova summons a Brooding Cleric that gains 2% additional damage and healing each time an enemy affected by Unholy Transfusion is damaged by an ally, up to 100%.

This is an overall middling legendary in a middling covenant for the Discipline spec and is unlikely to see play.

Other Legendary Interactions for Necrolord Discipline Priest

There is currently no special Necrolord to non-covenant Legendary interaction for Discipline.

Best Necrolord Discipline Priest Soulbind

Best Necrolord Discipline Priest Renown 40 Soulbind

Discipline Priest's best choice for soulbind for Necrolord at Renown 40 is Emeni which should continue into higher renown levels.

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Best Necrolord Discipline Priest Renown 80 Soulbind

On the way to Renown 80, you'd still maintain the Emeni Soulbind throughout the Renown leveling process. Emeni is the strongest soulbind at all levels from 40-80.

The below Soulbind Calculator is valid starting at Renown 40. Conduits are socketed in order of highest priority from top to bottom in order to facilitate the greatest benefit when empowering conduit rows from renown. Please see our Discipline Priest Conduit Guide for more information on Conduits including Empowered Conduits.

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Necrolord Discipline Priest Covenant Rotation Changes

As usual, this page only highlights the specific use case of the class and signature abilities. To see how they fit within the context of the entire spec, we encourage you to check the other pages in the guide related to the context you are looking for:

Unholy Nova

Unholy Nova's primary use in a raiding environment will revolve around optimizing it for a Ramp. When ramping, you are spending 10-15 seconds applying Atonement to allies before incoming damage. Because Unholy Nova is a long lasting DoT, you'll likely want to apply it once you are done blanketing the raid in Atonement. Once you've done just that, hit your Covenant ability, then follow through with your regular damage priority. This will ensure that your DoT from Unholy Nova will be up on (hopefully) only one enemy, and your Lead by Example will be up for when you start dealing damage providing a sizable buff to your overall damage dealt in that period of time.

In 5 mans, you'll have good flexibility to use this ability for its sizeable damage, or to use it on a singular enemy like Prideful where the lengthy DoT will achieve some decent value. Keep in mind that Unholy Nova is NOT much in the way of burst healing or damage, so you will want to apply this in the early/middle stages of Prideful rather than latter on when you'll need the most throughput.

Fleshcraft

Fleshcraft should not be channeled in the following circumstances:

  • Raid or Dungeon mechanics will force you to move suddenly
  • There is no major mechanic or damage event that would require the defensive and you can deal damage/prepare for healing instead

Necrolord Discipline Priest Talent Builds

Your talent build does not change at all while picking this Covenant. There is no interaction with our kit, no change to anything we do, and no reason to deviate from the standard build. The extra blip of healing/damage that Unholy Nova creates is okay, but ultimately, does not change our talent build and does not rate highly among Covenant options as a result.

Necrolord Discipline Priest Gearing Differences

Following the trend set by previous expansions, Discipline Priests still prefer raw item level upgrades while preferring haste.

As usual, substantial item level upgrades typically outweighs "better" secondary stats at lower ilvl.

Necrolord Discipline Priest Soulbinds Explained

Across all classes and specs, Necrolords have access to the same three soulbinds: Plague Deviser Marileth, Emeni and Bonesmith Heirmir. They are the NPCs with whom you complete the zone story, and they allow you to "attune" yourself to them to gain access to a tree of upgrades centered around your base toolkit (through Conduits) and Covenant abilities (through special game-wide traits).

These trees progressively unlock based on completion steps (such as finishing the campaign) and your Renown level with the Necrolord Covenant.

We've summarized the optimal traits for each soulbind below. Potency conduits have variety in the situations that are used, refer to the conduit page for various builds for various situations.

Plague Deviser Marileth grants you three impactful traits:

List of All Volatile Solvent Buffs
  • Ooz's Frictionless Coating allows you to better survive any follow up damage that would occur after a burst that reduces you below 50% health with a 15% max health absorb shield. If burst damage is continually dipping you below 50% health this will be fantastic but do note the 30s ICD.
  • The capstone trait, Ultimate Form, causes you to regenerate 6% max HP and be crowd control immune over the duration of the Fleshcraft channel. If you manage to complete the full Fleshcraft channel, then the crowd control immunity persists for 3 additional seconds and you regenerate another 6% max HP over those 3 seconds.

These benefits strongly incentivize the use of Fleshcraft after defeating a pack of enemies or strategically prior to incoming crowd control. While crowd control immunity can be powerful, very few PvE encounters actively crowd control players so Ultimate Form will likely be niche at best.

An example tree to follow on this soulbind is as follows:

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Emeni provides a couple of great nodes:

  • Lead by Example, the initial trait in the tree, functions as group utility and personal throughput increase. Your party members are granted them 2% primary stat, and you gain up to 13% primary stat yourself for 10 seconds. The on-demand boost can be really nice for aligning with your ramp up windows, allowing you to cast Unholy Nova just after you finish applying Atonement and then quickly follow through with your Schism and the rest of your damage priority for a massive burst.
  • Emeni's Magnificent Skin grants you a flat 5% extra maximum HP when casting Fleshcraft. Not huge, but the early potency conduit that accompanies it makes this survivability increase worth it.
  • Emeni's Ambulatory Flesh allows channeling of Fleshcraft to be done while moving. This negates one of the major downsides of Fleshcraft, but unfortunately is accompanied by a endurance conduit slot.
  • Gnashing Chompers can be a nice haste buff but requires consistent enemy deaths to maintain any sort of meaningful uptime. Healing any ally that damages these enemies does count as you defeating an enemy, so no damage from you is required. Unfortunately the potency conduit attached to Gristled Toes tends to more favorable in most situations.
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This is the ideal soulbind, mainly due to Lead by Example. It's flexible, it provides group support and it helps further enhance your ramp up windows.

Picking Bonesmith Heirmir grants access to the following notable traits:

  • Forgeborne Reveries, a pseudo-Spirit of Redemption ability and flat 3% intellect buff (assuming you're enchanted), allows you to continue to heal for 10s following your death albeit at a 50% reduced capacity. Pretty solid just for being enchanted..
  • Resourceful Fleshcrafting provides an additional second of cooldown reduction for Fleshcraft via its passive effect.
  • Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone grants an enormous amount of critical strike chance for 10s, but can only occur once every 60s. While we're able to quickly proc this via HoT ticks once the ICD is up, it's questionable as to whether this increased throughput will line up with incoming damage. Unfortunately there's also no good way to throttle yourself to hold the proc for just the right moment.

While decent, the benefits are generally offensive. Can be helpful to maximize damage in some areas, but many traits compete with Potency conduit slots and the Potency slots only unlock movement speed/utility. We provided a full path below.

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