When World of Warcraft: Shadowlands releases this fall, players will journey into the realm of the dead and attempt to restore order by making sure everyone receives the eternity they deserve. That’s a daunting task, but luckily you won’t be on your own.
When you reach level 60, the new max level for the game, you’ll be able to join one of four Covenants — ancient factions that rule over parts of the Shadowlands and are responsible for different types of souls. Once you’ve pledged your loyalty, some members of the faction will offer to Soulbind with you and share some of their strength.
What is Soulbinding?
All denizens of the Shadowlands have the ability to Soulbind, forging a deep bond with another person that allows them to lend each other power. Each Covenant will give you three different Soulbinding options, two pretty much right after joining and doing some initial quests, and a third once you’ve completed all of the Covenant’s campaign quests. You can find details on the Soulbinds for each Covenant here:
Soulbinds in many ways act as the Heart of Azeroth in Battle for Azeroth or artifact weapon in Legion. Every Soulbind has eight rows of traits that will provide boosts to your Covenant Powers or class-agnostic buffs. You unlock access to more by increasing your Renown with your Covenant by completing endgame quests, a system that serves as a replacement for the usual Reputation grind. You’ll be able to swap out your Soulbinds in any rested areas or with a Tome or Codex of the Clear Mind.
Each Covenant Sanctum contains a Forge of Bonds, which is used to reassign Traits you’ve chosen for your Soulbinds and add Conduits, passive powers that can further enhance your Covenant abilities or provide perks based on your class or specialization. Here are some of the Conduits for Warriors that Blizzard has revealed:
- Using Execute increases the critical strike chance of future Executes for a moderate about of time.
- Significantly increase the Rage generated and instant damage done when using the Kyrian Covenant ability Spear of Bastion.
- Whenever you use the Conqueror’s Banner Necrolord Covenant ability you’ll immediately be granted a moderate amount of Glory, the resource that determines the duration and impact of the buff gained from activating the power a second time and planting the banner. Your strength will be moderately increased when the banner is planted.
- Significantly increase the Rage generated and damage done to the first target struck by your Ancient Aftershock Night Fae Covenant ability.
- Each nearby enemy will moderately increase the damage dealt and prevented by using the Venthyr Covenant ability Condemn.
- Arms Warriors using Overpower have a chance to apply Colossal Smash for a few seconds.
- Recklessness lasts moderately longer for Fury Warriors.
- The Rage generation of a Protection Warrior’s Last Stand is significantly increased.
Work in progress
All of these mechanics are subject to change until Shadowlands is released and will likely be continuously tweaked throughout the lifespan of the expansion. Keep checking back for more updates on these systems and all other things World of Warcraft.