Discipline Priest Best Shards of Domination Guide
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
|Necrolord||Low Keys: Average|
High Keys: Average
|Venthyr||Low Keys: Average|
High Keys: Average
Covenant Choice Changes with Patch 9.1 Discipline Priest
Discipline will now prefer the Kyrian covenant for Raiding and Mythic+. Discipline Priest is receiving a major cooldown increase to Spirit Shell in 9.1 pushing the preferred talent to Evangelism in a raid environment. This weakens the value of Venthyr's Mindgames synergy with Shell as balancing the covenant ability, Mindbender and Spirit Shell/Evangelism creates complicated problems increasing your mana expenditure and large penalties for holding onto Mindgames for too long to align with shell. As a result, and as discussed below, Kyrian'sBoon of the Ascended allows for a potent cooldown to provide massive throughput as needed to quickly top health pools thanks to the extended Atonement duration provided by Evangelism and Rapture with the Clarity of Mind legendary.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Raiding
To support this, the new covenant legendary Spheres' Harmony and new Mikanos capstone soulbind trait Effusive Anima Accelerator are both available to reduce Boon's cooldown by one minute each for the potential of a 1 min Boon of the Ascended cooldown, though this will primarily be used in dungeons.
In a raid encounter, Mikanos' ability does yield full 60 sec value on every encounter so it rarely will be used in raids. Encounters in Sanctum of Domination, similar to Castle Nathria, feature moderate to high burst with some ticking damage follow up, this will also allow you to rapidly burst health pools up and continually push them back up with each Ascended Blast and finally an Ascended Eruption at the end to deal with any lingering damage.
Best Discipline Priest Covenants for Mythic+
In Mythic+ the Kyrian with buffs in 9.1 is excellent. 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 tormented affix should no longer be 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
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. Boon of the Ascended is more valuable in Patch 9.1 due to the Spirit Shell cooldown increase coupled with the potential cooldown reduction that Boon of the Ascended can receive with the new legendaries and soulbinds.
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. Later on in the tier, 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, now in 9.1 it is far less valuable due to desyncing with Spirit Shell, fight timers that push Disc to hold onto their covenant ability for too long, and a variety of supporting abilities to juggle draining your mana.
General Draven's soulbind being the top defensive pick while Theotar is the top throughput pick. Hold Your Ground gives nice extra stamina but the healing bonus does not convert into Spirit Shell shielding. The Service In Stone trait is an adequate defensive as well, making Draven more defensive focused if you're worried about survivability and Theotar's Soothing Shade more raw throughput focused.
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 is also flexible and very strong for dungeon 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.