Shadowlands Holy Priest Guide

Necrolord Covenant for Holy Priests

Allegiance to the Necrolord Covenant for Holy 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 Holy 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 Holy Priest, as well as details on which covenant is best, please visit our Best Covenant for Holy Priest guide.

Changes to Necrolord Holy 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 Holy 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.
  • When players are instantly healed by the Unholy Nova and are damaging the enemy, they will receive Mastery: Echo of Light healing. Since the Priest cast the Nova and is thus damaging the enemy, they will continue to receive healing from the transfusion even if they don't cast any other damaging abilities into the enemy.
  • 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.

Like most of the Covenant abilities, it won't be the plurality of your healing in any scenario but it will provide some excellent burst with strong buffs from your soulbinds to assist you in a diverse content set.

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 primarily in Mythic+.

Necrolord Priest Signature Ability: Fleshcraft

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

While Holy 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 Holy 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 for the Holy spec and is unlikely to see play.

Other Legendary Interactions for Necrolord Holy Priest

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

Best Necrolord Holy Priest Soulbind

Best Necrolord Holy Priest Renown 40 Soulbind

Holy 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 Holy 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 Holy Priest Conduit Guide for more information on Conduits including Empowered Conduits.

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Necrolord Holy 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 raid cooldown or healing heavily through Holy Word: Serenity/Holy Word: Sanctify or Prayer of Healing spam. Positioning yourself or having a strong mouseover macro to launch this ability properly will be key to the strongest results. You want to find a point where you can hit the maximum number of allies to heal them, while still having the nova hit the boss or multiple enemies. You also need to ensure that you will have time to channel Divine Hymn or plant your feet to cast Prayer of Healing afterwords so timing and knowledge of the mechanics will be important to get the best possible effect.

In 5 mans, you'll have good flexibility to utilize this ability for its sizable damage, or to use it on a single enemy like Prideful where the quick burst followed by the Emeni buff will greatly assist you. Keep in mind that Unholy Nova is not going to top players from low health on its own, so you will want to apply this in the 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 Holy 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 good, but ultimately, does not change our talent build.

Necrolord Holy Priest Gearing Differences

Following the trend set by previous expansions, Holy Priests still prefer raw item level upgrades while preferring Mastery or Critical Strike and your covenant does not impact this trend.

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

Necrolord Holy 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 important traits:

  • Volatile Solvent empowers your Fleshcraft by granting an additional buff based on the type of corpse you used it near: 120 mastery for humanoids, 2% primary stats for beasts, 5% stamina for demons, and a 5% heal for undead.
  • With Ooz's Frictionless Coating, every 30 seconds, you have the option to gain a 15% absorb shield.
  • Finally, the capstone trait, Ultimate Form, causes you to gain 8% max HP in total over the duration of the channel. If you manage to finish the channel, you gain CC immunity for 4 seconds, and regenerate another 8% max HP over 4 seconds.

These benefits strongly incentivize the use of Fleshcraft after defeating a pack, and generally, as much as possible out of combat.

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 primary stat, and you gain 13% intellect for ~15sec. The on-demand boost can be really nice for aligning with your cooldown uses, allowing you to cast Unholy Nova just before casting Divine Hymn or Holy Word: Salvation.
  • Emeni's Magnificent Skin allows you to gain a small amount of extra HP when casting Fleshcraft.
  • Gnashing Chompers provides stacking Haste when defeating mobs, but at the expense of a Potency conduit. Holy's Potency conduits are good, so it's an unattractive trade-off.
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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 cooldown windows.

Picking Bonesmith Heirmir grants access to some primary stat at the start along with the following traits:

The benefits here are generally offensive. Can be helpful to maximize damage in some areas, but many traits compete with Potency conduit slots which are actually good for Holy Priests, so most will likely pass on this one. Nevertheless, we provided a full path below.

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