- Adaptive Swarm - Command a swarm that heals or deals shadow damage over 12 seconds to a target, and increases the effectiveness of your periodic effects on them by 20%. Upon Expiration, jumps to a target within 25 yards, alternating between friend and foe up to 3 times.
- Evolved Swarm - The Necrolord covenant conduit adds increased damage to period effects (6% at rank 1 and 14.4% at max rank 15) which is definitely worth using as your 2nd potency conduit slot behind the berserk conduit Unchecked Aggression.
- Fleshcraft - Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 seconds that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 minutes. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health.
The base Necrolord ability is still one of the best base covenant abilities for tanks, especially tanks like Guardian with large health pools, so that is an added consideration when choosing which covenant to go with.
Necrolord is my favorite covenant choice for us, and it's probably a very close tie between Necro and Kyrian for the top spot in terms of potency, however Necro feels slightly better to play with filling rotational gaps.
Adaptive Swarm feels really good in our rotation, and buffs both of our main damage spells, Thrash and Moonfire by 20% which makes it very powerful. Adaptive swarm can also be cast on ourselves and can be used to buff the healing of Frenzied Regeneration by 20% while the heal is on us, leading to a significant defensive bonus.
Necrolord has some extra powerful synergy on pure single-target with one of our best DPS legendary effects, Draught of Deep Focus. When combined with catweaving this leads to some very strong single target damage, however the legendary loses all value on multiple-target encounters so this a pure single target niche setup.
Overall Necrolord will be our highest DPS and best single target raid Covenant and provides excellent value in all content, however the main drawback of Necrolord's Adaptive Swarm is that it loses value on heavy AoE due to being a primarily single target ability.
- Kindred Spirits - Form a bond with an ally. Every 1 minute, you may empower the bond for 10 seconds, granting you an effect based on your partner's role, and granting them an effect based on your role.
- Deep Allegiance - The Kyrian Covenant conduit, reduces the cooldown of the bond by 10% at rank 1 up to 24% at rank 15. An excellent boost to the bond, shorter cooldown always good, the more tools we have to cycle through the stronger we are.
For Guardian bonding with a Healer or DPS grants them a 40% damage reduction buff for 10 seconds and the damage is redirected to you.
- When we bond with a Tank we redirect 40% of damage we take to them.
- When we bond with a DPS we also gain 20% of the damage they do as damage/healing/absorption.
- When we bond with a healer we also receive 30% of all their healing replicated onto us for the 10 seconds.
Bonding with a tank will be very powerful defensively from a raiding perspective, having another large short cooldown shield wall in our toolkit will be extremely valuable on most raid encounters.
Bonding with a healer will be very strong in Mythic+ and even in a raiding environment as that can lead to an enormous amount of healing replicated into you largely filling gaps in the downtime between Frenzied Regeneration
Bonding with high dps players in their cooldowns will provide us with a huge damage boost with a decent absorb portion similar to an Ignore Pain
type effect, this will be great in both Mythic+ and Raids.Summon Steward
- Summons a nice owl friend that gives us an extra healthstone / health potion type phial with 3 charges.
The Phial heals you for 20% of your maximum hp and removes all diseases, poisons, curses and bleeds affecting you.
This is extremely powerful for a secondary bonus for a covenant and part of the reason why Kyrian is rated so highly.
Kyrian is my 2nd-best choice for Guardian covenants just behind Necrolord, although defensively Kyrian is the superior choice and has some minor synergy with one of our best defensive legendary effects The Natural Order's Will
, adding another powerful defensive short cooldown into the rotation cycle.
Overall Kyrian is primarily a raid-focused choice, it has some strength in all content except solo as the lone tether is quite boring and has no real value.
- Ravenous Frenzy - For 20 seconds, Druid spells you cast increase your damage, healing by 2% and haste by 1%, stacking. If you spend 2 seconds idle, the Frenzy overcomes you, consuming 1% of your health per stack, stunning you for 1 second, and ending.
- Endless Thirst - The Venthyr Covenant conduit, adds increased 0.50% at rank 1 and 1.2% at max rank 15, critical strike chance per stack of Ravenous Frenzy. If you are planning on running a 2nd potency conduit this one is fine, especially for m+, although definitely a bit underwhelming until the later ranks. I would much rather run 3 endurance conduits and 1 potency with the berserk Unchecked Aggression conduit.
- Door of Shadows - Door of Shadows, the baseline Venthyr ability, is a cool teleport with a 1 minute cooldown, the extra mobility is fantastic but not enough for us to choose this covenant over others.
Overall Venthyr will still be a powerful Mythic+ choice when combined with Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc and one of our legendary runecarves Ursoc's Fury Remembered, making us an unstoppable powerhouse for the time it's active.
I don't see this covenant getting much raid value as all the other covenants provide more value in raid content.
- Convoke the Spirits - Casts 12 random druid spells, prioritizing the form you are currently in, will generally apply Rejuvenation and Regrowth - on ourselves, as well as several stacks of Ironfur which makes it still decently powerful defensively. It loses a lot of value on AoE as it doesn't particularly prioritize AoE spells and can often just spam rather weaker spells.
- Conflux of Elements - The Night Fae specific conduit buffs your damage and healing while channeling Convoke by 15% at rank 1 up to 36% at max rank 15, this is pretty significant and a good second potency slot choice.
- Soulshape - Soulshape got a significant armor and health buff so it is now the same as being in bear form, which is a great change from previously. The usefulness of this ability is still quite average, still requiring us to shift back into bear form afterwards, essentially just a very small blink on a long cooldown which ultimately costs us multiple GCDs for little benefit.
Night Fae was my top choice in the previous State Of article and is now my lowest-rated of the 4 covenants. After the nerf to Convoke the Spirits reducing the amount of spells cast down to 12 from 16, it is now decently far behind Kyrian, Necrolord and even Venthyr.
We may see some potential here with Owlweaving, shifting into moonkin form and then casting Convoke the Spirits, as the damage gain from that is pretty significant still, or we could shift out of form completely and provide some large off-heals for the raid/group.